Skip to main content

Full text of "The class Mammalia"

See other formats

\ <^ 

(0%^^ 11;' p v ^ 1 riV 1 

'# V' 


iiii r, jffe- 

V. ^ 

« ^ 


■ ■■'V. 

1 %. r^ V ^^fak ^c 




■ft 4/ ^^Cq^W /-^ % 

\ << 

"*> <$ 

^ \, Mr ( -y % 1| 















Printed by William Clowes, 
Charing Cross. 














Printed by William Clowes, 

Charing Cross. 







These form a considerable and very various as- 
semblage of unguiculated quadrupeds, which, like 
man and the quadrumana, possess the three kinds 
of teeth. They all subsist on animal matter, and 
more exclusively so in proportion as their cheek- 
teeth are more of a trenchant character. Such of 
them as have these teeth altogether or in part tu- 
berculous, also take mpre or less of vegetable sub- 
stances, while those who have them bristling with 
conical points, principally subsist on insects. The 
articulation of their lower jaw, directed cross-wise, 
and clasping like a hinge, does not allow of any ho- 
rizontal motion ; it can only shut and open. 

Their brain, although tolerably furrowed, has no 
third lobe, nor does it form a second covering for 
the cerebellum in these animals any more than in 
the families which succeed them. The orbit is not 
separated from the fossa temporalis in their skele- 
ton. Their cranium is narrow, and the zygomatic 



arcades are dispersed, and elevated, to give more 
volume and force to the muscles of their jaws. The 
predominant sense with these animals is that of 
smelling, and the pituitary membrane is usually- 
extended over very numerous bony laminae. Their 
fore-arm can turn, but with less facility than in the 
Quadrumana, and they have no thumbs on the fore- 
feet opposable to the other fingers. Their intestines 
are less voluminous, in consequence of the substan- 
tial nature of their aliments, and to avoid the putre- 
faction that flesh must undergo if it remained for 
any time in an elongated canal. 

In other particulars their forms and the details of 
their organization vary considerably, and produce 
analogous varieties in their habits to such a degree- 
as to render it impossible to range their genera upon 
a single scale. We are therefore obliged to divide 
them into several families, which are variously con- 
nected together by very numerous relations. 


The Cheiroptera 

Have still some affinity with the Quadrumana by 
the pendulous penis, and the mammse situated on 
the breast. Their distinctive character consists in 
a fold of skin extended between their fore-feet and 
their fingers, which sustains them in the air, and 
even enables them to fly, when the hands are suffi- 
ciently developed for that purpose. This arrange, 
ment demanded powerful clavicles and large shoul- 


der-blades to give the shoulder the requisite degree 
of solidity ; but it was incompatible with the rota- 
tion of the fore-arm, which would have weakened 
the force of the impetus necessary for flight. All 
of these animals have four large canine teeth, but 
the number of the incisors vary. They have long 
been divided into two genera according to the extent 
of their organs of flying; but the first of these two 
requires many subdivisions. 

The Bats ( Vespertilio, Linn.) 

Have the arms, the fore-arms, and the fingers ex- 
tremely elongated, and those with the membrane 
which fills up the intervals between them, form real 
wings, as much extended as those of birds. Ac- 
cordingly the bats fly to a considerable height and 
with great rapidity. Their pectoral muscles possess a 
thickness proportioned to the movements which they 
are designed to execute, and in the middle of the 
sternum is a ridge like that of birds, to form a point 
of attachment for these muscles. The thumb is 
short and armed with a hooked nail, which these 
animals make use of to hang by and to creep. 
Their hind-feet are weak, divided into five toes of 
equal length and all of them are armed with nails. 
There is no caecum to their intestines. Their eyes 
are extremely little, but their ears are often remark- 
ably large ; and, together with their wings, form an 
enormous extent of membranous surface. This is 
almost naked, and so sensible, that the bats can di- 

B 2 


feet themselves into all the nooks of the labyrinth 
in which they nestle, even after their eyes have been 
taken out, probably by the diversity of impulsions 
from the external air. They are nocturnal animals, 
and in our climates pass the winter in a lethargic 
state. During the day they remain suspended in 
obscure retreats. They generally have two little 
©ties at a birth, which they hold clinging to their 
breasts, and the size of which is very considerable 
in proportion to that of their mother. 

This genus is very numerous, and contains several 
subdivisions. » 

At first they must be divided into 

The Roussettes, (Pteropus, Briss.) 

Which have sharp incisors in each jaw, and cheek- 
teeth with flat crowns, or more properly with two 
longitudinal and parallel projections, which are se- 
parated by a furrow, and wear away in course of 
time by attrition. From this conformation, as it 
might naturally be presupposed, they subsist prin- 
cipally upon fruits. They are, however, sufficiently 
dexterous in the pursuit of birds and the smaller 
quadrupeds. These are the largest of the bat-kind, 
and their flesh is used for food. Their habitat is 
the East Indies. 

The membrane in this subdivision is sloped to a 
considerable depth between the legs. There is 
scarcely any tail. The fore-finger, about one half 
shorter than the middle, has a third phalanx and a 
little nail which is wanting in the other bats : but 


the other fingers have only two phalanges. The 
nose is simple, the ears small, and without parotides, 
and the tongue furnished with prickles, bent back- 
wards. The stomach is a sack considerably elon- 
gated and unequally inflated. 

1. Roussettes without tails, with four incisors in each jaw. 

The Black Roussette, (Pterop. edulis, Geoff.) 

Of a brownish black, deeper in the under parts. 
Near four feet from the extremity of one wing 
to that of the other. An inhabitant of the Sunda 
and Molucca islands, where these animals con- 
ceal themselves in caverns. The flesh is re- 
markably delicate. 

The Roussette of Edwards, (Pter. Edwardsii, Geoff.) 

Fawn-colour, with the back of a deep brown. 
Habitat, Madagascar. 

The Roussette of Buff on, (Pterop. vulgaris, Geoff.) 
Buff. X. xiv. 

Brown, the face and sides of the back fawn- 
coloured. From the Isles of France and Bour- 
bon, where they inhabit the trees in the forests. 

The Collared Roussette. Rougette of Buffon. (Pter.rubri- 
collis, Geoff.) Buff. X. xvn. 

Grayish brown, the neck red. From the same 
isles, where it lives in the hollow trees. 


Roussettes with a small tail: four incisors in each jaw. 

These comprehend all the species described for the 
first time by M. Geoffroy. One of them, woolly and 
grey, (Pier, fflgyptiacus,) lives in Egypt in the cata- 
combs, vaults, fyc. Another of a reddish hue, with 
a tail somewhat longer, and to a certain extent in- 
volved in the membrane, (Pter. Amplexica?idus,J 
Geoff. Ann. Mus, t. XV. pi. i\\, comes from the 
Archipelago of the East Indies, §-c. To these may 
be added, the Pteropus Griseus, Geoff. Ann. Mus. 
torn. XV. pi. vi. ; Pteropus Stramineus, Seb. I« LVII. 
I, 2, ; Pteropus Marginalus, Geoff, loc. cit. pi. v.; 
Pteropus Minimus, id. 

3. Following the relations pointed out by M. Geof- 
froy, we shall moreover separate from the Roussettes 
the Cephalotes, which have cheek-teeth of the same 
character, but in which the index or fore-finger, 
though short and furnished like the preceding spe- 
cies with three phalanges, is, however, without a 
nail. The membranes of their wings, instead of 
being joined to the flanks, are both of them united 
together on the middle of the back, to which they 
adhere through the medium of a vertical and longi- 
tudinal partition. Very frequently they have but 
two incisors. 

The Cephalotes of Peron, (Cephalotes Peronii, Geoff.) 
Geoff. Ann. Mus. XV. pi. iv. 

Brown or red. Habitat, Timor. 
When the Roussettes have been thus detached, 


there will remain the genuine bats, which are all 
insectivorous, and all of which have cheek-teeth fur- 
nished with conical points. The index is never 
provided with a nail ; and, with the exception of a 
single sub-genus, the membrane always extends 
between the two legs. 

They must be divided into two principal tribes. 
The first has upon the middle finger of the wing 
three ossified phalanges, but the other fingers, and 
the index itself has but two. 

To this tribe, which is altogether foreign, belong 
three sub-genera. 

The Molossi, (Molossus, Geoff. Dysopes, Illiger.) 

Have a simple muzzle ; ears large and short, origi- 
nating from the angle of the lips, and uniting one to 
the other upon the muzzle ; the parotis short, and not 
enveloped by the conch. We reckon but two inci- 
sors in each jaw. Their tail takes up the whole 
length of the interfemoral membrane, and often ex- 
tends beyond it. All the species come from Ame- 
rica, and are more or less brown. They were con- 
founded by Gmelin under the common name of 
Vespertilio Molossus, but M. GeofFroy has already 
distinguished nine species, of which BufFon has only 
three, viz., the Molossus longicaudatus, the Molossus 
fusciventer, and the Molossus Gui/anensis. The de- 
scription of the others will be found in the Ann. du 
Mus.VI. 150. 

The Nyctinomes (Geoff.) 
Have four incisors below ; the upper lip is high, and 


considerably sloped. In other particulars, they re- 
semble the Molossi. To these belong the Nyctinome 
of Egypt, Geoff. Eg. mammif. 2, 2 ; Vespertilio aceta- 
bulosus, Herm. Obs. Zool. p. 19; Vespertilio plicatus, 

The Stenodermes, (Geoff.) 

The muzzle is simple, the interfemoral membrane 
sloped as far as the coccyx. The tail is wanting, 
and there are two incisors above and four below. 

The Noctilions, (Noctilio, Linn. Ed. XII.) 

With a short muzzle, inflated, divided, and marked 
by warts and curious furrows. The ears are sepa- 
rated. They have four incisors above and two be- 
low. The tail is short, and unconnected above the 
interfemoral membrane. 

There is but one species known, which belongs 
to America, and is uniformly of a pale fawn-coloured 

The Phyllostomes, (Phyllostoma, Cuv. and Geoff.) 

The regular number of incisors is four in each jaw, 
but from the lower some of these teeth frequently 
drop out, being pushed aside by the growth of the 
canines. These animals are also distinguished by 
the membrane which, in the form of an upturned 
leaf, crosses the termination of their noses. The 
tragus of their ear resembles a little leaf, more or 
less indented. The tongue, which is capable of great 


elongation, is terminated by papillae, which seem 
to be arranged so as to form an organ of suction, 
and their lips also are provided with tubercles sym- 
metrically disposed. All this tribe is American ; 
they run on the earth with more facility than the 
other bats, and are accustomed to suck the blood of 
other animals. 

1. Phyllostomes without a tail. 

The Vampire, (V. Spectrum, L.) Andira Guacu of Brasil. 
Seb. LVIIL Geoff. Ann. Mus. XV. xn. 4. 

The leaf is oval and hollowed in the form of a 
tunnel. This animal is reddish brown and about 
the size of a magpie. Habitat, South America. 
It has been accused of destroying men and 
* animals by sucking their blood. But the truth 
appears to be, that it inflicts only small wounds, 
which may probably become inflammatory and 
gangrenous from the influence of the climate. 
We may here add the Lunette, (Vespertilio per- 
spicillatus, L.J spear-nosed bat. And three species 
given after Azzara, by M. Geoff. Ann. du Mus* 
XV. 181, 182. 

2. Phyllostomes, with a tail involved in the interfemoral 

Javelin Bat, (Vesp. Hastatus, L.) Fer de Lance, Buff. 
XIII. xxxiii. 

The membrane of the nose very much resem- 
bles a javelin, or leaf of trefoil. 


Here may be added Vespertilio Soricmus, (Anglice 
leaf-nosed bat), Pall. Spic. Zool. fasc. III. pi. in. 
iv., cap. Schreb. XL VII. 

3, Phyllostomes, with a tail unconnected above the 

The indented Javelin Bat, (Ph. crenulatum, Geoff.) 

The leaf of the nose is formed like a javelin, 
indented or furrowed at the side. 
The second great tribe has but one ossified pha- 
lanx on the index, and the other fingers have each 
of them two. 

This tribe is also divided into numerous sub- 

The Megadermes, (Geoffr. Ann. du Mus. XV.) 

These bats have on the nose a leaf more complicated 
than that of the Phyllostomes. The parotis is large, 
and most frequently forked or cloven ; the shells or 
conchs of the ear are extremely ample and are united 
to each other on the summit of the head ; the tongue 
and lips are smooth ; the interfemoral membrane is 
entire, and there is no tail. They have four incisives 
below, but none have as yet been discovered above, 
and it would appear that their intermaxillary bone 
remains cartilaginous. 

They all belong to the ancient continent, and are. 
either African, as the Feuille (Mega. Vons. Geoffr. J, 
with an oval leaf to the nose, almost as large as the 
head : of Senegal, or of the Indian Archipelago, as 


the Spasm of Ternata (Vespert. Spasma, L. Seb. I, 
ivi.J. The Lyre, Geoffr. Ann. Mus. XV. pi. xu 
The Trefle of Java, Seb. ib. fyc. The species are in- 
terdistinguished by the form of their leaves, like the 

The Rhinolphi (Rhinolphus, Geoffr. et Cuv.) vulgarly 

Horse-shoe Bats. 

They have the nose furnished with membranes and 
crests exceedingly complicated, which are couched 
upon the forehead, and present in the gross the 
figure of a horse-shoe. The tail is long and placed 
in the interfemoral membrane. They have four in- 
cisives below, and two very small ones above, si- 
tuated in an intermaxillary cartilaginous bone. 

There are two species, very common in France, 
and discovered by Daubenton. 

The Great Horse-shoe Bat (Vesp. Ferrum equinum, L.) Buff. 
or Rhinolphus bifer, Geoffr. Ann. Mus. XX. pi. v. and 
The Lesser (Vesp. hipposideros, Bechot.) Buffon VIII. 
xvn. 2, and xx. Geoffr. loc. cit. 

They inhabit the quarries, remaining there isolated, 
suspended by the feet, and enveloped in their wings, 
so as to suffer no other part of their bodies to become 

The (Nycteris, Cuv. et Geoffr.) 
The forehead is hollowed by a small indenture 

* Add the four other species represented. Geoff. Ann. Mus. XX. 
pi. v., one of which is the Vesp. Speoris, Schn. » 


which is marked even upon the cranium, and the 
nostrils are surrounded by a circle of projecting 
lamina?. They have four incisors, without any in- 
terval above, and six below. Their ears are large, 
not joined, and their tail is comprised in the inter- 
femoral membrane. These species belong to Africa. 
Daubenton has described one of them fVesp. hispi- 
dus, Linn.) Bearded Bat. M. GeofTroy has ound 
others in Egypt*. 

The Rhynopomes (Geoffr.) 

Have aD indenture not so strongly marked, tt.e nos- 
trils at the end of the muzzle, and a small lamina 
above : their ears are joined, and their tail extends 
considerably beyond the interfemoral membrane. 
One species of this subgenus is known : it belongs to 
Egypt, and chiefly inhabits the pyramids f. 

The Taphiens (Thaphozous, Geoffr.) 

Have also a small foss or indenture on the forehead ; 
but the nostrils are devoid of the elevated laminae, 
and they have but two incisors above and four 
below. Their ears are separated, and their tail free 
above the membrane. M. GeofTroy has discovered 
a species in the catacombs of Egypt J. 

Nyctere of Thebais, 29, Mammif. I. 2, 2. 
t Rhinopome Microphyte, Geoff. Vespertilio Microphyttus, Schr. 
% The Taphien Filet. Eg. Mamif.I. 1.1. The perforated Tapkien, 
b. III. L„ the Vesp. lepturus. 


The Common Bats (Vespertilio, Geoffr.) 

Have the muzzle without leaves or other distinctive 
marks, the ears separated, four incisors above, sepa- 
rated into couples, and six below sharp-edged, and 
triflingly notched. The tail is comprised in the 
membrane. This sub-genus is the most numerous 
of all. Its species are to be found in every quarter 
of the globe. Six or seven are enumerated in France. 
The first has been known for a long period. 

The ordinary Bat (Vesp. murinus, Linn.) Buff. VIILxvi. 

Gray, with oblong ears the length of the head. 
The other species have been discovered only by 

The Serotine (Vesp. Serotinus, Linn.) Buff. VIII. xvm. 2. 

Fawn-colour, wings and ears blackish : the shell 
or conch of these is triangular and shorter than 
the head ; the parotis pointed. 

They are frequently found beneath the roofs 
of churches, and other unfrequented buildings. 

The Noctule (V. Noctula, L.) Buff. VIII. xvm. 1. 

Brown, triangular ears, shorter than the head, 
parotis rounded. A little smaller than the pre- 
ceding. Found in the hollows of old trees, fye. 

The Pipistrelle (V. Pipistrellus, Gm.) Buff* VIII. xix. 1. 

The smallest species found in this country : 
brown, with triangular ears and parotis. 


M. Geoffroy further separates from the Vesperti- 
liones, or Common Bats, 

The Oreillards or Great-eared Bats (Plecotus, Geoffr.) 

Whose ears, larger than the head, are united to 
each other on the cranium, as is the case with 
the Megadermes, the Rhinopomes, $-c. 

The common species (Vesp. Auritus, L.J Buff. 
VIII. xvii. 1, is still more common here than 
the ordinary Bat. Its ears are nearly equal in 
size to its whole body. It inhabits the houses, 
kitchens, fyc. We have another species disco- 
vered by Daubenton, called the Barbastelle 
(Vesp. Barbastellus, Gm.) Buffon VIII. xix. 2. 
Brown, with ears much smaller. 

The Galeopitheci CGaleopithecus, Pall.) commonly 

Flying Cats, 

Differ generically from the bats, because the fingers 
of their hands, all furnished with trenchant nails, are 
not more elongated than those of the feet ; so that 
the membrane which occupies their intervals, and 
extends as far as the sides of the tail, can do little 
else than perform the functions of a parachute. 
Their canine teeth are indented and short, like the 
molars. Above are two incisors, also indented, and 
considerably separated from each other. Below are 
six cut into narrow divisions, like combs, a structure 
altogether peculiar to this genus. These animals 
live in trees in the Indian Archipelago, and pursue 

qprana tajum^ibss ©e,©ss©3piell© 1&lt. -tees mh©ae>miemll iLinan bat?. 

ZendmT^ibUsfted 2>y G. kWJHFMtaker. SeptV1824 ■ 

woctizio umrcozc 

€LOS$0JPMd?Gd? K " '., ' '.'■■■ 

./•/,. .-.'.■. ;/ /;: ■ G.kW.S.WriiUzi/cer.Spl TJSZ4 


insects there, and probably birds. If we may judge 
by the detrition which their teeth suffer in age, they 
would appear to subsist also on fruits. They have 
a large caecum. 

We know but one species distinctly, the fur of 
which above is reddish gray, red below, varied and 
radiated with different grays in youth. This is the 
Lemur volans; Linn. Audeb. Galceop, pi. i. et n. It in- 
habits the Moluccas, the Sunda Islands, §-c. 

All the other Carnassiers have the teats situated 
under the belly. 


Which form the second Family, 

Have, like the Cheiroptera, cheek-teeth, with conical 
points, and lead a nocturnal or subterraneous life. 
They principally subsist on insects, and in cold 
countries pass the winter in a lethargic state. They 
do not possess lateral membranes like the bats, but 
notwithstanding this they are never destitute of cla- 
vicles. Their feet are short, and their motions feeble. 
The teats are situated under the belly, and the penis 
in a case. They have no caecum, and all of them 
lean the entire sole of the foot on the ground in 

There are two small tribes of these, distinguished 
by the position and the relative proportion of their 
incisors and canine teeth. 

The first have two long incisors in front, followed 


by other incisors and canine teeth, all shorter than 
the molar. This kind of dentition, of which the Tar- 
siers, among the quadrumana, have already furnished 
us with an example, approximates these animals in 
some degree to the rodentia. 

The Hedgehogs (Erinaceus, Lvn.) 

Have the body covered with prickles instead of 
hairs. The skin of their back, in bending the head 
and paws towards the belly, can close itself as if in 
a purse or bag, and present its prickly points on all 
sides to the adversary. The tail is very short, and 
all the feet have five toes. The two middle superior 
incisives are separated and cylindrical. 

The common Hedgehog (Erinaceus Europccus) Buff. 
VIII. vi. 

With short ears ; sufficiently common in the 
woods and hedges; passes the winter in its 
burrow, and sallies forth from it in the spring, 
with the vesiculae seminales in a state of the 
most incredible amplitude and complication. 
To the insects which form its ordinary regimen 
it adds the fruits which in time wear off the 
points of its teeth. Its?- skin was formerly 
made use of to hatchel hemp. 

The Long-eared Hedgehog (Erinaceus Auritus.) Schreb 

Smaller than the common hedgehog, with ears as 


large as two-thirds of the head; in other re- 
spects, like ours in form and habits. It is found 
from the north of the Caspian Sea as far as 


The Shrews (Sorex, Lin.) 

Are animals generally much smaller than the hedge- 
hogs, and covered with simple hairs instead of 
prickles. On each flank, under the ordinary skin, is 
found a little band of stiff and close hairs, from which 
distils an odoriferous humour, produced by a pecu- 
liar gland. 

The two middle incisors of the upper row are 
crooked and indented at the base. They remain in 
holes which they dig in the earth, seldom going out 
till towards evening, and live on worms and insects. 
But one species has for a long time been remarked 
in France. 

The common Shrew, or Musette (Sorex Araneus, Lin.) Buff. 
VIII. x. i. 

Gray, with a square tail as long as the body. 
They are found in considerable numbers in the 
country, in the meadows, Sfc. They have been 
accused of causing a malady among horses by 
their bite ; but this imputation is false, and has 
probably originated in the fact, that though cats 

* Pallas has remarked, as an interesting fact, that hedgehogs 
eat hundreds of cantharides with impunity, while a single one will 
cause such horrible torments to cats and dogs. 

Vol. II. C 


will kill these animals readily, they refuse to eat 
them, in consequence of their powerful odour. 
Daubenton has made known another species. 

The Water Shrew. (Sorex Fodiens, Gm.) Buff. VIII. xi. 

Black above, white underneath ; squared tail, as 
long as the body. When it plunges in the 
water the ear is almost hermetically sealed by 
means of three small valves which correspond 
with the helix, the tragus, and the antitragus. 
The small stiff hairs which border the feet afford 
it the facility of swimming, and accordingly its 
favourite haunts are the banks of rivulets. 
Herman, M. Gall, and M. Geoffroy, have added 
some other species. 

The Desmans (Mygale, Cuv.) 

Differ from the shrews by two very small teeth, 
placed between the two large incisors below, and 
also by having the two upper incisors of a triangular 
form, and somewhat flattened. The muzzle is 
lengthened into a very small and flexible snout, 
which is in a state of continual agitation. Their 
long tail, scaly and flattened at the sides, and their 
feet with five toes all united together by membranes, 
constitute them aquatic animals. Their eyes are very 
small and they have no external ears. 

The Desman of Russia, vulg. The Russian Musk Rat. 
(Sorex Moschatus, Lin.) Buff. X. i. 

Almost as large as a hedgehog, of an ashy-gray ; 


very common along the rivers and lakes of 
Southern Russia. It subsists on worms, on the 
larvae of insects, and more especially on leeches, 
which it easily draws out of the mud with its 
mobile snout. Its burrow, dug within the bank, 
commences under the water, and is raised in 
such a manner that the bottom remains above 
the level in the largest waters. This animal 
does not come voluntarily to dry land, but is 
often taken in nets. Its musky odour arises 
from a sort of pommade, secreted in small fol- 
licles under the tail. This odour is communi- 
cated even to the flesh of pikes, which prey 
upon these animals. 
A small species of this genus has been discovered 
in the streams of the Pyrenees, and made known by 
M GeofFroy. Ann. du Mus. torn. XVII. pi. iv. f. i. 

The Scalopes (Scalops, Cuv.) 

Unite to the teeth of the Desmans, and to the simply- 
pointed muzzle of the Shrews, large hands, armed 
with strong nails, fitted for digging into the earth, 
and entirely similar to those of moles. Accordingly 
they lead the same sort of life. 
The only species known is 

The Scalope of Canada (Sorex aquaticus, Lin.). Schreh. 

Appears to inhabit a considerable portion of 
North America along the banks of rivers. 


The Chrysochlores (Chrysochloris, Lacep.) 

Have, as well as the two preceding genera, two in- 
cisors above and four below ; but the muzzle is short, 
large, and elevated, and their fore-feet have but 
three nails, of which the outer one is very large and 
the others diminish in proportion. The hind-feet 
have five nails. These are also subterraneous 
animals, and their fore-arm is supported, for the pur- 
poses of digging, by an additional bone placed under 
the cubitus. 

The Chrysochlore of the Cape f vulg. Golden Mole. ( Talpa 
Asiatica, Lin.) Schreb. CLVIL, and better, Brown, II L 

Somewhat less than our moles, without appa- 
rent tail. The only quadruped known which 
presents any shade of those beautiful metallic 
reflections, which glitter in such a variety of 
birds, fishes, and insects. Its fur is green, 
changing to the colour of brass or bronze. Its 
ears have no conque, and its eyes are not per- 
The second tribe of insectivora have four large 

* The Red Mole of America, in Seba, I. pi. xxxn. f. 1, {talpa 
rubra, L.) is probably of this genus; but the tucan of Fcrnandes, 
ap. XXIV., which is confounded with it, appears rather a rat-mole, 
by its long teeth in each jaw, and its vegetable regimen. It is pro- 
bably to this first tribe of insectivora that the long-tailed mole be- 
longs. Penn. arct. Zool. No. 68 ; but its dentition is not sufficiently 
known to fix its place with accuracy. 


canine teeth separated from each other, between 
which are small incisives, which is the most ordinary 
arrangement with the quadrumana and the car- 

We find in this subdivision forms and habits ana- 
logous to those of the preceding tribe. Thus, 

The Tenrecs, Cuv. (Centenes, Illig.) 

Have the body covered with prickles like the hedge- 
hogs ; but, not to mention the great difference of 
their teeth, the tenrecs do not possess the faculty 
of rolling themselves up in a globular form. They 
have no tail, and the muzzle is remarkably pointed. 
Three species have been found in Madagascar, the 
first of which has been naturalized in the Isle of 
France. They are nocturnal animals, and pass three 
months of the year in a torpid state, although inha- 
bitants of the torrid zone. Bruguiere assures us 
that it is even during the greatest heats that they 
sleep in this manner. 

The Tenrec (Erinaceus Ecaudatus, Lin.) Buff. XII. lvi. 

Covered with stiff prickles. Incisors sloping, 
and but four in number in the lower jaw. This 
is the largest of the three, and surpasses our 

The Tendrac, (Erinaceus Setosus, Lin.) Buff. XII. lvii. 

With more flexible prickles, more resembling 
hairs. Six sloping incisors in each jaw. 
II * 


The radiated Tenrec, (Erinaceus Semispinosus.) 

Covered with hairs and prickles intermingled, 
radiated with yellow and black. Its incisors to 
the number of six, and the canines are slender 
and crooked. It is scarcely the size of a mole. 

The Moles, (Talpa, Lin.) 

Are universally known by their subterraneous mode 
of existence, and their conformation eminently adapt- 
ed to this kind of life. 

An arm remarkably short, attached by a long 
shoulder-blade, supported by a vigorous clavicle 
and provided with enormous muscles, carries a 
hand extremely large, the palm of which is always 
turned upwards or behind. This hand is trenchant 
at its inferior edge : the fingers are distinguished 
with difficulty, but the nails which terminate them 
are long, strong, broad, and trenchant. Such is 
the instrument employed by the mole to tear the 
earth and push it back. The sternum, like that of 
birds and bats, has a ridge which gives to the pec- 
toral muscles the magnitude necessary for their 
functions. To pierce the earth and throw it up, the 
mole uses its elongated and pointed head, the muz- 
zle of which is armed at the end with a peculiar 
small bone. The cervical muscles are exceedingly 
vigorous, and the cervical ligament is even com- 
pletely ossified. The hinder part of the mole is 
feeble, and the motions of the animal on the earth 
are as constrained and painful as they are rapid and 
vigorous below its surface. The sense of hearing 


in these animals is extremely fine, and the tympanum 
remarkably large, though the external ear is wanting. 
The eye, however, is very small, and so much con- 
cealed by the hair, that its very existence was for a 
long time denied. The jaws of the mole are feeble, 
and its nutriment consists of insects, worms, and 
some tender roots. This tribe have six incisives 
above and eight below. 

Our Common Mole, (Talpa Europaa, Lin.) Buff. VIII. xii. 

Pointed muzzle, hair fine and black, Some in- 
dividuals are found white, fawn-coJoured, and 
pied. This animal is extremely troublesome 
from the derangement it causes in cultivated 

The radiaed Mole of Canada, (Talpa cristata, Sorex 
cristatus, Lin*.) 

The two nostrils are surrounded with small 
points, cartilaginous and moveable, which when 
separated into radii, resemble a kind of star. 
It is less than our mole, blackish, and the tail, 
one half shorter than the body, is slightly co- 
vered with hair. 


Will form a third family of the Carnassiers. 
Though the epithet of Carnassiers is suitable to all 
unguiculated animals with three sorts of teeth, ex- 

* We have satisfied ourselves by the inspection of its teeth that 
it is a true mole, and not a sorex. It is the condyliura of Illiger; 
but its characters, taken from the figure of La Faille and Buff, 
supp. VI. xxxvii., are false. 


cepting the Quadrumana, inasmuch as they all sub- 
sist more or less on animal matter, still there are 
many of them, and especially the two preceding fa- 
milies, which are reduced by their weakness and the 
conic tubercles of their cheek-teeth, to live almost 
entirely on insects. It is in the family now before 
us that the sanguinary appetite is united with suffi- 
cient force to give it due effect. These animals 
have always four large and long canine teeth sepa- 
rated, and between them six incisives in each jaw, 
the second of which in the lower row has always its 
root more deeply seated than the rest. The molars 
are always either altogether trenchant or but partly 
mingled with blunt tubercles, and never bristling 
with conic points. 

These animals are more exclusively carnivorous in 
proportion as their teeth are more completely tren- 
chant, and their regimen may be nearly calculated 
from a comparison of the extent of the tuberculous 
surface of their teeth with the part which is tren- 
chant. The bears which can subsist entirely on 
a vegetable diet have almost all their teeth tubercu- 

The anterior molars are the most trenchant ; then 
comes a molar larger than the others, which is gene- 
rally provided with a tuberculous heel of different 
degrees of magnitude, and behind it are found one 
or two small teeth entirely flat. It is with these 
small teeth at the bottom of the mouth that dogs 
chew the grass which they occasionally swallow. 
This large molar above, aiid the corresponding one 


below, we shall call, with M. Frederic Cuvier, car- 
nivorous teeth (carnassieres), the anterior pointed 
teeth we shall call false molars, and the posterior 
blunt ones, tuberculous teeth, 

It is easily to be conceived, that the genera which 
have the fewer molars, and whose jaws are the 
shortest can bite with the greatest force. 

It is on these differences that the genera may be 
most securely established. 

We must however unite to them a consideration 
of the hind foot. 

Many genera, like all those of the two preceding 
families, rest the entire sole of the foot on the ground 
in walking or standing upright ; and this peculiarity 
is easily perceived from the absence of hairs under 
this whole part. 

Others, much more numerous, never walk except 
on the end of their toes, elevating the tarsus altoge. 
ther. Their course is more rapid, and to this first 
difference they unite many others in their habits, 
and even in their internal conformation. Both have 
no clavicle except a bony rudiment suspended in 
the flesh. 

The Plantigrades 

Form the first tribe of the carnivora and walk on the en- 
tire foot, by which means they obtain a greater facility 
of raising themselves on their hinder legs. They par- 
ticipate in the slowness of motion and the nocturnal 
life of the insectivora, and, like them, are destitute of 
a caecum. Most of the plantigrades which inhabit 


cold countries pass the winter in a lethargic state ; 
they have all five toes on every foot. 

The Bears (Ursus, Lin.) 

Have three large molars on each side in each jaw, 
entirely tuberculous ; accordingly, notwithstanding 
their extreme strength, they seldom eat flesh except 
from necessity. The last but one in the upper row 
stands for the carnivorous tooth (la carnassihej. The 
last, which is the tuberculous, is the largest of all. 
In front of the three is another pointed molar, and 
in the interval between it and the canine, one or 
two very small and simple teeth, which often fall 
without inconvenience. 

These animals are large, clumsy in the body, 
thick in the limbs, and have a remarkably short tail. 
The cartilage of their nose is elongated and mobile. 
They dig caves or construct huts for themselves, 
where they pass the winter in a state of somnolency 
more or less profound, and without taking any ali- 
ment. It is in this retreat that the female brings 

The species are not easily interdistinguished by 
sensible or obvious characters. We reckon 

The Brown Bear of Europe, (Ursus Arctos, Lin.) Buff. 
VIII. xxxi. 

With convex forehead, and brown fur, more or 
less woolly. Some are seen nearly yellow, 
others of a sleek and glossy brown, with almost 


a silvery reflection. The relative height of 
their limbs varies equally and without any con- 
stant analogy to the age or sex of the indivi- 
dual. The young bears are distinguished by 
a whitish collar. This animal inhabits the high 
mountains and large forests of Europe, and of a ,. 
considerable part of Asia. The time of copula- 
tion is in June, and the birth takes place in 
January, Sometimes these bears lodge very 
high in trees. Their flesh, when young, is 
good for eating ; but the paws at all ages are 
esteemed excellent. 
Some think that it is possible to distinguish a 
black Bear of Europe. Those which had been exhi- 
bited as such, had a flat forehead, and the fur woolly 
and blackish, Also there has been mentioned a 
bear of the Indies, with blackish fur and a white spot 
on the breast, $*c. 

A species which we can with more certainty pro- 
nounce to be different, is, 

The Black Bear of America, (Ursus Americanus, Lin.) Cuv. 
Menag. du Mus., in 8vo. II. p. 143. 

Flat forehead, fur black and glossy, and fawn- 
coloured muzzle. We have always found in 
this species the small teeth behind the canine 
more numerous than in the bear of Europe. It 
has sometimes a fawn-coloured spot above 
each eye, and one of white or fawn-colour on 
the throat or chest. Individuals have been seen 
entirely fawn-coloured. It lives usually on wild 


fruits, often lays waste the fields, and repairs to 
the sea-coast for the purpose of catching fish 
when they are in abundance. It seldom at- 
tacks quadrupeds but in the want of every other 
alimentary supply. Its flesh is in estimation. 
It is said that there is also in America a gray bear, 
larger than the black one, but it has not been de- 
scribed with sufficient accuracy. 

The White Bear of the Icy Sea, (Ursus Maritimus, Lin.) 
Cuv. Menage, du Mus. in 8vo. p. 68. 

Is another very distinct species, characterized 
by its elongated and flattened head, and by its 
white and glossy fur. It pursues the seals and 
other marine animals. Exaggerated accounts 
of its voracity have rendered it very celebrated. 

The Racoons (Procyon, Storr.) 

Have three hinder tuberculous molars, and three 
small pointed molars in front, forming a continued 
series as far as the canines. The tail is long ; but 
all the rest of their exterior represents that of the 
bear on a minor scale. They rest the entire sole of 
the foot upon the ground only when standing; in 
walking they raise the heel. 

The Racoon of the Anglo-Americans, Mapach of the 
Mexicans. (Ursus Lotor, Lin.) Buff. VIII. xliii. 

Grayish-brown, with a white muzzle, a brown 
mark across the eyes ; the tail ringed with 
brown and black. An animal about the size of 


the badger, easily tamed, and never eating any- 
thing without having first plunged it in water. 
It comes from North America ; subsists on 
eggs, insects, birds, fyc 

The Racoon Crab-eater, (Ursns Cancrivorus.) Buff. Supp 
VI. xxxii. 

Of an ashy-brown colour, uniformly clear. The 
rings of the tail less marked. Habitat, South 

The Coatis, (Nasua, Storr.) 

Join to the teeth, the tail, the nocturnal life and 
dragging walk of the racoons ; the nose is singularly 
elongated and mobile. The feet are demi-palmate, 
and yet they climb trees. Their long nails serve 
them for digging. They come from the warm re- 
gions of America, and subsist much in the same way 
as our own martins. 

The Red Coati, (Viverra Nasua, Lin.) Buff. VIII. xlviii. 

Reddish fawn-colour. The muzzle and rings of 
the tail brown. ; 

The Brown Coati, (Viverra Narica, Lin.) Buff. VIII. xlviii. 

Brown, white spots on the eye and muzzle. 
We can scarcely introduce more fitly than here 
the singular genus of the Kinkajous or Potto, 
Cuv. (Cercoleptes, Illig.), which unites to the planti- 
grade motion a Ions- and prehensile tail, like that of 


the Sapajous, a short muzzle, a slender and exten- 
sible tongue ; two cheek-teeth in front pointed, and 
three tuberculous ones behind. 

There is known but a single species CViverra cau- 
divolvula, Gra.), Buff. Supp. III. l., from the warm 
parts of South America, and some of the great An- 
tilles, where it is named poto. It is as large as a 
pole-cat, with woolly hair, of a grayish or brownish 
yellow. Nocturnal, of a disposition rather mild, 
and capable of subsisting on fruits, honey, milk, 
blood, fyc. 

The Badgers, (Meles, Storr.) 

Which Linnaeus places like the racoons, in the genus 
of bears, have a very small tooth behind the canine ; 
then two pointed molars followed above by one which 
we begin to recognise as the true carnivorous tooth 
(la carnassihre), from the vestige of an edge disco- 
vered on its external side. Behind it is a squared 
tuberculous tooth the largest of all. The penultimus 
below begins also to exhibit some resemblance to 
the inferior carnassikres ; but as it has on the in- 
terior side two tubercles as elevated as its edge, it 
performs the part of the tuberculous tooth. The 
last one is very small. 

These are animals with a creeping walk and noc 
turnal mode of life, like all the preceding. The tal- 
is short, the toes deeply involved in the skin, and 
they are eminently distinguished besides by a pouch 
situated under the tail, whence oozes a fat and foetid 
humour. The nails of their fore-feet are consider- 


ably elongated, and thus render them skilful in 
delving in the earth. 

The Badger of Europe, (Ursus Meles, Lin.) Buff. VII. vn. 

Grayish above, black underneath, a black band 
on each side of the head. 

The Gluttons (Gulo, Storr.) 

Had also been placed in the genus of bears by Lin- 
naeus ; but they approach more to the martins by 
their teeth, as well as by their entire constitution 
and character, resembling the bears only in their 
plantigrade motion. They have three false molars 
above and four below in front of the carnivorous 
tooth ; and a small tuberculous one behind it, the 
upper of which is rather large than long. The upper 
carnivorous tooth has but a small tubercle. These 
animals have tails of moderate length, with a fold 
underneath instead of a pouch, and in other respects 
as to their gait, $*c, they are sufficiently similar to 
the badgers. 

The most celebrated species is the glutton of the 
north, rossomak of the Russians (Ursus gulo, Lin.) 
Buff. Sup. III. xlviii. As large as our badger, 
usually with a beautiful fur of a deep marron, with 
a disk somewhat browner on the back, but some- 
times of paler tints. It inhabits the coldest coun- 
tries of the north, is esteemed to be remarkably 
cruel, hunts by night, does not sleep during the 
winter, and contrives to master the largest animals 


by leaping downwards on them from a tree. Its 
voracity has been ridiculously exaggerated by some 

The Wolverene of North America (Ursus Luscus, Lin. 
Edw. CIII. 

Does not appear to differ from the last by any- 
permanent characters. Its tints are generally 
somewhat paler. 
Warm climates produce some species which cannot 
well be ranged, except among the gluttons, not dif- 
fering from them but by one false molar less in each 
jaw, and by a long tail. Such are those which the 
Spanish Americans name ferrets (Jiurons), and which, 
having in fact the teeth of our pole-cats and ferrets, 
have also the same mode of life. But they are dis- 
tinguished from them by the plantigrade motion 

The Grison (Viverra Vittata, Lin.) Buff. Sup. VIII. 
xxni. et xxv. 

Black, the top of the head and neck gray ; a 
white band extending from the forehead to the 

The Ta'ira, (Mustela Barbara, Lin.) Buff. Sup. VII. lx. 

Brown, top of thej head gray, a lrrge white spot 
under the neck. These two animals are found 
in all the warm regions of America, and diffuse 
a musky odour. Their feet are triflingly flat- 


tened, and it would seem that they have some- 
times been taken for otters. 

It is probable that the ratel (civerra mellivora, and 
viv. capensis), an animal, about the size of a badger, 
should be placed at the end of the gluttons and Ori- 
sons. It is gray above, black underneath, having 
a white line between those two colours. It inha- 
bits the Cape of Good Hope, and digs the earth 
with its long front talons to discover the honey 
there deposited by the wild bees. It is only known 
by an incomplete description of Sparrman. 

The Digitigrade& 

Form the second tribe of Carnivora, that which 
walks on the end of the toes. 

, There is a first subdivision of them which have 
but one tuberculous tooth behind the upper carni- 
vorous one. These animals have been named ver- 
miform, in consequence of the length of their bodies 
and- shortness of their legs, which allows them to 
pass through the smallest apertures. Like all 
the preceding tribes they want a caecum, but do 
not fall into a state of lethargy during the winter. 
Though small and feeble, they are exceedingly 
cruel and live peculiarly upon blood. Linnaeus 
makes but one genus of them, that of 

The Martens, (Mtjstela., Lin.) 

Which we shall divide into four sub-genera. 
Vol. II. D 


The Polecats (Tutoricjs, Cuv.) 

Are the most sanguinary of all. Their carnivorous 
tooth below has no interior tubercle ; the tuberculous 
tooth above is more broad than long. They have 
only two false molars above and three below. As to 
their exterior, they may be easily recognised by 
their muzzle being rather shorter and more thick than 
that of the martens. They all diffuse an infectious 

The common Polecat ( Mustela putoriuSj L.) Buff. VII. xxni. 

Brown, the flanks yellow, with white spots 
upon the head. The terror of hen-roosts and 

The Ferret. (Mustela furo, L.) Buff. VII. xxv. xxvi. 

Yellowish, with red eyes, is perhaps only a 
variety of the polecat. In France we find it 
only in a domesticated state, and it is employed 
to pursue rabbits into their burrows. It comes 
to us from Spain and Barbary. 

The Polecat of Poland, or Perouasca. (Mustela Sarmatica.) 
Pall. Spic. Zool. XIV. iv. 1, Schreb. CXXXIL 

Brown, spotted all over with yellow and white. 
Its skin is much employed in the fur trade, on 
account of its beautiful variegation. It inhabits 
all the southern part of Russia, Asia Minor* 
and the coasts of the Caspian Sea. 

To the polecats also must be referred two 
small species of our climates. 


The Weasel (Mustela Vulgaris, L.) Buff. VII. xxix. 1. 
Altogether of an uniform red ; and 
The Ermine, (Mustela Ermima, L.) Buffon> VII. xxix. 2. 

XXXI. 1. 

Which is red in summer, white in winter, with 
the tip of the tail always black, its winter 
coat forms one of those furs most universally 
It is probable that we must still refer to this race 

The Polecat of Siberia. (Mustela Sibirica, Pall.) Spic. Zool. 
XIV iv. 2. 

Altogether of a clear uniform fawn-colour ; and 

The Mink, Norek, ISIoerz, or Polecat of the Northern Rivers. 
(Mustela Lutreola, Pall.) Spic. Zool. XIV. in. 1. Les 
Mem. de Stockh. 1739, pi .xi 

Which frequents the edges of the water in the 
north and east of Europe, from the Icy as far as 
the Black Sea, and subsists on frogs and crab- 
fish. The feet are triflingly flattened between 
the bases of the toes, but the teeth and the 
round tail approach it more to the polecats than 
to the otters. It is brown with a whitish jaw. 
Its odour is that of musk, and its fur is ex- 
tremely fine. 

The Polecat of the Cape. (Zorille of Buff. Viverra Zonlla, 
Gm.) Buff XIII. xli. 

Radiated irregularly with white and black. It 
had been so long confounded with the mouffettes 


that the name Zorillo (fox's cub), which the 
Spaniards applied to those fetid animals of 
America was given to it. It has, however, 
nothing in common with them except the nails 
adapted for delving. This circumstance indi- 
cates a subterraneous mode of life, which might 
induce us to distinguish this species from the 
other polecats. 

The Martens, properly so called, (Mustela, Cuv.) 

Differ from the polecats by an additional false molar 
above and below, and by a small interior tubercle in 
their carnivorous tooth below. Two characters 
which somewhat diminish the cruelty of their nature. 
Europe has two species very nearly approaching 
to each other, 

The common Marten (Mustela Martes, L.) Buff. VII. xxin. 

Brown, with a yellow spot under the neck ; in- 
habits the woods. 

The Fouine. (Mustela Foina, L.) Buff. VII.xvuu 

Brown, with all the upper part of the throat and 
neck whitish. Frequents houses. Both these 
species occasion much mischief. 
One species is known in Siberia. 

The Sable (Mustela Zibellina) Pall. Spic. Zool. XIV. , 
in. 2. Schreb. CXXXVI. 

So much celebrated for its rich fur. It is 
brown, with some spots of white on the head, 


and is distinguished from the foregoing by having 
hair even under the toes. It likewise inhabits 
the most frozen mountains. The hunting of this 
animal in the midst of winter, through eternal 
snow, is one of the most painful of human la- 
bours. The pursuit of sables first gave occa- 
sion to the discovery of the eastern regions of 
Northern America produces also many of the 
marten tribe, which travellers and naturalists have 
pointed out under the ill-defined appellations of 
Pe/cm, Vison, Mink, Foutereau, &c. 

The species to which we apply the name of Vison 
(Mustela Vison), is altogether brown, with the little 
point of the chin white. The fur is remarkably 
brilliant. It is found in Canada and the United 

That which we shall name, Pekan, and which 
eomes from the same countries, has the head, the 
neck, the shoulders, and the top of the back, mixed 
of gray and brown. The nose, the crupper, the 
tail, and the limbs, are blackish. 
Both have hair even under the toes. 

The Mouffettes (Mephitis) Cuv. 

Have, like the polecats, two false molars above and 
three below, but their upper tuberculous tooth is 
very large and as long as broad, and their inferior 
carnivorous tooth has two tubercles on its internal 
side, which approximates them to the badgers, as 
the polecats approach the grisons and gluttons The 


mouffettes have, besides, like the badgers, the front 
nails long and proper for digging. The resemblance 
holds good even in the distribution of colours. In 
this family, so remarkable for its unpleasant odour, 
the mouffettes are distinguished for a stinking pre- 
minence above all the other species. 

The mouffettes are usually radiated with white 
upon a black ground. But they appear to vary in 
the same species by the number of streaks, and they 
have not been interdistinguished with any sufficient 
accuracy. All those which come from America have 
a long and tufted tail, but M. Lechenaud has lately 
repprted the existence of one species in the island 
of Java altogether destitute of this appendage. 

The Otters (Lutra, Storr.) 

Have three false molars above and below, a strong 
talon on the upper carnivorous tooth, a tubercle on 
the internal side of the lower, and a large tubercu- 
lous tooth, almost as long as broad above. The head 
is compressed and the tongue partly rough. They 
are moreover distinguished from all the preceding 
sub-genera by their palmate feet, and their tail hori- 
zontally flattened ; two characters which constitute 
them aquatic animals. They are supported on fish. 

The common Otter. (Mustela lutra, L.) Buff. VII. xi. 

Brown above, whitish beneath. Habitat, the 
rivers of Europe 

The Otter of America, (Mustela cutra Brasilicitsis, Gm.) 
Altogether brown or fawn-coloured, with a 
white or yellow neck, and somewhat larger than 


our common otter. Of the rivers of the two 

The Sea Otter, (Mustek lutris, L.) Schreb. CXXVIII. 

Twice as large as ours, with a body consi- 
derably elongated, tail three times less than the 
body, hind feet extremely short. Its blackish 
covering as smooth and brilliant as velvet, is 
the most valuable of all furs. It frequently is 
whitish on the head. The English and Russians 
pursue this animal in all the northern parts of 
the Pacific Ocean, for the purpose of selling its 
skin to the Japanese and Chinese. 

The second subdivision of the digitigrades has two 
flat tuberculous teeth behind the upper carnivorous 
tooth, which itself has a heel or protuberance tole- 
rably broad. They are carnassiers, but without 
showing much courage in proportion to their 
strength. They frequently live on carrion. They 
have all a small caecum. 

The Dogs (Canis, L.) 

Have three false molars above, four below, and two 
tuberculous teeth behind each carnivorous one. 
The first of these tuberculous teeth in the upper row 
is very large. The upper carnivorous tooth has but 
a single small tubercle within, but the lower one has 
its posterior point altogether tuberculous. Their 
tongue is soft. The fore-feet have five toes and the 
hinder four. 


The domestic Dog. (Cams Familiaris, L.) 

Is distinguished by a, curved tail, and varies 
besides ad infinitum as to size, form, colour, and 
the quality of the hair. The dog is the most 
complete, the most remarkable, and the most 
useful conquest ever made by man. Every spe- 
cies has become our property ; each individual 
is altogether devoted to his master, assumes 
his manners, knows and defends his property, 
and remains attached to him until death ; and 
all this proceeds neither from want nor con- 
straint, but solely from true gratitude and real 
friendship. The swiftness, the strength, and 
the scent of the dog, have created for man a 
powerful ally against other animals, and were 
perhaps necessary to the establishment of so- 
ciety. He is the only animal which has followed 
man through every region of the earth. 

Some naturalists think that the dog is a wolf, 
others a domesticated jackal. The dogs, how- 
ever, which have become wild again in desert 
islands do not resemble either of these species. 
The wild dogs and those belonging to barbarous 
people, such as the inhabitants of New Holland, 
have straight ears, which would lead us to the 
belief that the European races, which approxi- 
mate the most to the original type, are our 
shepherd's dog and our wolf-dog. But the com- 
parison of crania points to a closer approxima- 
tion in the mastiff and Danish dog: after which 


come the hound, the pointer, and the terrier, 
which do not differ between themselves ex- 
cept in size and the proportions of the limbs. 
The greyhound is more lank, and its frontal si- 
nuses are small and its scent more feeble. The 
shepker^s-dog and the wolf-dog resume the 
straight ears of the wild dogs, but with a 
greater development of the brain, which pro- 
ceeds increasing, with a proportionate degree 
of intelligence in the barbet and the spaniel. 
The bull-dog, on the other hand, is remarkable 
for the shortness and vigour of its jaws. The 
small chamber-dogs, the pugs, spaniels, shock- 
dogs, &c, are the most degenerate productions, 
and constitute the most striking marks of that 
power which man exercises over nature. 

The dog is born with the eyes closed. He 
opens them the tenth or twelfth day. His 
teeth begin to change in the fourth month, and 
his growth terminates at two years of age. The 
female goes with young sixty-three days, and 
brings forth from six to a dozen young ones. 
The dog is old at five years, and seldom lives 
more than twenty. The vigilance, the bark, the 
singular mode of copulation of this animal, and 
his striking susceptibility of a varied education, 
are universally known. 

The Wolf. (Cards Lupus, L.) Buff. VII. i. 
A large species with a straight tail; fur of a 
grayish fawn colour, with a black streak on the 
fore-limbs of the adults. It is the most mis- 


chievous of all the carnassiers known in our 
countries. It is found from Egypt as far as Lap- 
land, and appears to have passed into America. 
In northern regions its fur becomes white in the 
winter season. It attacks all our animals, but 
yet by no means displays courage in propor- 
tion to its strength. It often preys on carrion. 
Its habits and physical development have many 
close relations with those of the dog. 

The Black Wolf. (Cams Lycaon, L.) Buff. IX. xli. 

Inhabits also in Europe, and is found even in 
France, but very rarely*. Its fur is of a deep 
and uniform black. It is said to be more fero- 
cious than the common wolf. 

The Red Wolf. (Canis Mexicanus, Lin.) Agoura-Gouazou 

Of a fine cinnamon red, with a short black mane 
along the entire spine. Found in the marshes 
of all the hot and temperate regions of America. 

'The Jackal, or Golden Wolf. (Canis Aureus, Lin.) Schreb. 


Somewhat less than the three preceding ; 
grayish brown, the thighs and legs of a clear 
fawn-colour ; some red upon the ear. It inha- 
bits in troops a great part of Asia and Africa, 
from India and the environs of the Caspian Sea 

* I have seen four individuals taken or killed in France. It 
must not be confounded with the Black Fox, with whose synonymes 
Gmelin has mixed it up. 


as far as Guinea. It is a voracious animal, 
which hunts after the manner of a dog, and 
seems to resemble him more nearly than any 
other wild species in conformation and facility 
of being tamed. 

The Foxes may be distinguished from the wolves 
and dogs by a longer and more tufted tail, by a more 
pointed muzzle, by pupils calculated for nocturnal 
vision *, and by upper incisives less sloping. They 
diffuse a fetid odour, dig themselves burrows, and 
only attack weak animals. This sub-genus is more 
numerous than the preceding. 

The common Fox. (Canis Vulpes, L.) Buff. VII. vi 

More or less red, the end of the tail white. 
Is spread over most climates from Sweden even 
to Egypt. Those of the north are distinguished 
only by a more brilliant fur. We observe no 
constant difference between those of the Old 
Continent and those of North America. The 
Coal Fox (Canis Alopex) Schreb. XCL, which 
has the end of the tail black, and is found in the 
same countries as the common, and The Cross 
Fox (id. XCL A.), which is distinguished only 
by a streak of black along the spine and over 
the shoulders, are probably but varieties of the 
common fox. But the following species are 
very distinct. 

* The Baron seems to conclude that elongated pupils are adapted 
for nocturnal habits, a conclusion which we have elsewhere ven- 
tured to think unfounded. — Ed. 


The Corsac, or Small Yellow Fox, (Cams Corsac, Gm.) Buff. 
Supp. III. xvi., under the name Adive. 

Of a pale yellowish gray, some blackish waves 
on the base of the tail. The end of the tail black, 
and the jaw white. Common in the vast heaths 
of Central Asia, from the Volga to the East 
Indies ; possesses the habits of the common 
fox, and never drinks. 

The Tri-coloured Fox of America, (Canis Cinereo-argenteus.) 
Schreb. XCIL A. 

Ash-coloured above, white beneath, a band of 
cinnamon red along the flanks. Habitat, all 
the hot and temperate climates of the two Ame- 

The Silvery or Black Fox *. 

Black, but the ends of the hairs are white, ex- 
cept on the ears, shoulders, and tail, where they 
are purely black. The tip of the tail is altoge- 
ther white. From North America. Its fur is 
one of the finest and most highly prized. 

The Blue Fox, or Isatis, (Canis Lagopus), Schreb. XCIII. 

Deep ashen colour ; the under part of the toes 
furnished with hairs. It is often white in win- 
ter. From the north of Siberia. Likewise 
very much esteemed for the fur. 

* Gmelin has confounded this with the black wolf, under the 
name of Canis Lycaon. 


The Cape Fox, (Canis Mesomelas,)* Schreb. XCV. 

Yellow on the flanks, the middle of the back 
black, mixed with white, and finishing in a point 
at the end f . 

The Civets (Viverra), 

Have three false molars above and four below, the 
anterior of which occasionally drop out; two tuber- 
culous teeth, tolerably large above, one only below, 
and two projecting tubercles on the internal side of 
the lower carnivorous tooth in front, the rest of 
this tooth being more or less tuberculous. The 
tongue is covered with sharp and rough papilla?. 
Their claws are partly straightened as they walk, 
and near the anus is a pouch more or less deep, 
where an unctuous and odoriferous matter exudes 
from peculiar glands. 

They are divided into four sub-genera : 

The Civets, properly so called, (Viverra, Cuv.) 

In which the deep pouch situated between the anus 
and the organ of generation, and divided into two 

* Gmelin has confounded it with the Adive of Buffon, a facti- 
tious species not differing from the Sachal. 

t The Fennec of Bruce, which Gmel. names Canis Cerdo, and 
IHg. Megalotis, is too little known to be classified. It is a small 
animal of Africa, whose ears almost equal the whole body in size 
ind which climbs trees. Neither the teeth nor toes have been 

46 €l,ASs MAMMALIA. 

bags, is filled with an abundant unction, of a 
strongly-musked odour. 

The Civet (Viverra Civetta, Lin.) Buff. IX. xxxiv. 

Gray with brown or blackish spots, the tail 
brown, less than the body. Along the entire 
back and tail is a mane capable of elevation. 
This animal comes from the hottest parts of 

The Zibeth, (Viverra Zibetha, Lin.) Buff. IX. xxxi. 

Gray, shaded with brown, long tail tinged with 

The Genets, (Genetta, Cuv.) 

In which the pouch is reduced to a slight hollow 
formed by the projection of the glands, and almost 
without any sensible excretion although there is a 
most manifest odour. 

The Common Genet, (Viverra Genetta, Lin.)Buff. IX. xxxvi. 

Gray, with small round black spots, and a tail 
tinged with black. As large as a marten, and 
still more slender. Seems to inhabit from 
Southern France as far as the Cape of Good 

* The Civet of Malacca of Sonnerat, the Genet of the Cape 
Buff., the Cape- Cat, Foriter, the Bisaam-Cat of Vosmaer, of which 
Gmelin has made so many species, appear only common Genets. 
To this subdivision must be referred the radiated Pole-cat of India, 
Buff. Sup. VII. lvii. (Viv. fasciata, Gm.) 


The Fossane [of Madagascar, (Viv. Fossa,) Buff. XIII. xx. 

Has those parts of a fawn colour which are 
black in the genet, and scarcely any rings to 
its tail. 

The Mangoustes, Cuv. (Herpestes, Iliger.) 

In which the pouch is voluminous, simple, and has 
the anus bored in its depth. 

The Mangouste of Egypt, so celebrated under the name 
Ichneumon, (Viverra-Ichneumon, L.)Buff. Sup. III. xxvi. 

Gray, with a long tail terminated by a black 
tuft; larger than our cats, as slender as our 
martens. It searches peculiarly for the eggs of 
crocodiles, but also subsists on all kinds of 
small animals. Domesticated in houses, it 
hunts mice, reptiles, &c. The Europeans at 
Cairo call it Pharaoh's rat, the people of the 
country Nems. What the ancients related of 
its jumping down the throat of the crocodile to 
put it to death, is fabulous. 

The Mangouste of the Indies, (Viverra Mungos, L.) Buff. f 
XIII. xix.; and that of the Cape, (Viv. Cafra, Gm.) 
Schreb. CXVL B. 

Both have the tail pointed, and the fur gray or 
brown, but uniform in the latter, streaked cross- 
wise with black in the former, which also has 
the jaws streaked with fawn-colour. 


The mangouste of the Indies is celebrated for 
his combats with the most dangerous serpents, 
and by the fame of having made known the 
virtue of the ophiorhiza mcngos against their bite. 

The Surikates, (Ryzjena, Iliger) 

Which have a strong resemblance to the mangoustes, 
even to the very tints and transverse streaks of the 
fur, but which are yet distinguished from them and 
from all the Carnivora hitherto treated of, by having 
only four toes on all the feet. Their pouches extend 
into the anus like those of the preceding. 

But one species is known, a native of Africa, 
{Viverra tetradactyla, Gm.) Buff., XIII. vui., some- 
what smaller than the mangouste of India *. 

The last subdivision of the digitigrades has no 
small teeth whatever behind the large molar below. 
It contains the most cruel animals, and the most de- 
idedly carnivorous of the whole class. There are 
two genera: 

The Hyenas, (Hy^na, Storr.) 

Which have three false molars above and four below 
all conical, blunt, and singularly thick and clumsy 
The upper carnivorous tooth has a small tubercle 
within, and in front. But the lower one has none 
and presents only two strong trenchant points. This 
powerful apparatus enables the hyaenas to break the 

* The Zenik of Sonnerat, deuxieme voy. pi. 92, does not seem to 
differ from the Surikate but by being ill-drawn. 


bones of the strongest animals which become their 
prey. Their tongue is rough. All their feet have 
four toes like the Surikates, and under the anus is 
a deep and glandulous pouch. They are nocturnal 
animals, voracious, living particularly on carcasses, 
and seeking them even in the tombs. There are 
many superstitious traditions relative to these ani- 
mals. Two species are known : 

The Striped Hy ana (Canis Hy ana, Lin.) Buff. Sup. 


Gray, irregularly radiated across with brown 
or black. A mane along the nape of the neck 
and the back, which it elevates in the moments 
of anger. It inhabits from the Indies as far as 
Abyssinia and Senegal. 

The Spotted Hy&na, (Canis Crocuta, Lin.) Schreb. XCVI. B. 

Gray, spotted with black, from the South of 
Africa. It is the tiger-wolf of the Cape. 

The Cats, (Felis, Lin.) 

Are of all the Carnassiers the most powerfully armed. 
Their short and round muzzle, their short jaws, and 
above all their retractile claws, which, drawn up- 
wards and concealed within the toes by the effect of 
elastic ligaments when in a state of rest, thus never 
losing their point or edge, render them, especially 
the larger species, very formidable animals. They 
have two false molars above and two below. Their 

Vol. II. B 


upper carnivorous tooth has three lobes, and a blunt 
heel within, the lower two have pointed and trenchant 
lobes without any heel. Finally, they have but a 
very small upper tuberculous tooth, without any 
thing to correspond below. The species of this 
genus are very numerous, and very various in size 
and colour, although all similar in form. They can- 
not be subdivided but according to the somewhat 
unimportant characters of size and the magnitude of 
the fur. 

At the head of this genus stands, 

The Lion, (Felis Leo. Lin.) Buff. VIII. i. if. 

Distinguished by its uniform fawn-colour, the 
tuft of hair at the tip of its tail, and the mane 
which clothes the head, neck, and shoulders of 
the male. This is the strongest and most cou- 
rageous of all animals of prey. Formerly the 
species was spread through the three divisions 
of the old world, but at present it seems almost 
confined to Africa, and some neighbouring parts 
of Asia. The head of the lion is more squared 
than that of the following species 

The tigers are large species with smooth skin, 
very frequently marked with bright spots. 

The Royal Tiger, (Felis Tigris,) Buff. VIII. ix. 

As large as the lion, but with a more elongated 
body and rounder head. Of a bright fawn-colour 
above and pure white underneath, radiated ir- 


regularly and cross-wise with black. The most 
cruel of quadrupeds and the most terrible 
scourge of the East Indies. So great are its 
force and swiftness that, during the march of 
armies, it has been known to snatch a horseman 
from his horse, and carry him off into the re- 
cesses of the woods without the possibility of 

The Jaguar or American Tiger. The great Panther of 
Furriers. (Felis Onpa, Lin.) d'Azzara, Voy. pi. ix. 

Almost as large as the oriental tiger, and almost 
as dangerous. A bright fawn-colour above, 
marked along the flanks with four ranges of 
black spots in the form of eyes, that is, with 
rings more or less complete, with a black point 
in the middle. White underneath, radiated 
cross-wise with black. 

There are some individuals black, on which 
the spots, of a still deeper hue, are visible only 
at certain points of exposition. 

The Panther, (Felis Pardus, Lin.) The Pardalis of the 
Ancients. Cuv. Menag. du Mus. 8vo. I. p. 212. 

Fawn-coloured above, white underneath, with 
six or seven ranges of black spots in the form 
of roses, that is to say, formed by an assem- 
blage of five or six simple spots on each flank. 

E 2 


The Leopard, (Felis Leopaidus, Lin.) 

Like the panther, but with ten ranges of smaller 

These two species are of Africa, and smaller than 
the Jaguar. Travellers and Furriers designate 
them indistinctly under the names of leopard, pan- 
ther, African tiger, <§*c.* 

The Guepard, or Hunting Tiger of India, (Felis jubata, L.) 
Sckreb. CV. 

Of a clear fawn-colour, with small black simple 
spots equally distributed. This animal is 
smaller than the panther, has greater height in 
the limbs, and longer hair on the nape of the 
neck. In India they are trained like dogs for 
the chase, for which purpose the panther is also 
employed in some countries. 

The Couguar, Puma, or pretended American Lion. (Felis 
discolor, L.) Buff. VIII. xix. 

Red, with small spots of the same colour a 
little deeper, and which are not easily distin 
guished. Of the whole of America. 

*Buffon has mistaken the jaguar for the panther of the Old 
World, and has not well distinguished the panther and leopard. . 
Therefore we forbear to cite him. 


The Melas or Black Panther, (Felis Melas, Peron.) 

Black, with simple spots of a deeper hue 
Of the East Indies. 

The Ocelot, (Felis partialis, Lin.) Buff. XI LI, 
pi. xxxv. xxxvi. 

With lower limbs than the preceding. Gray, 
with large fawn-coloured spots bordered with 
black, and forming oblique bands on the flanks. 
Habitat, the whole of America. 

Among the inferior species, the lynxes should be 
distinguished, which are remarkable for the brushes 
of hair with which their ears are adorned . 

The Common Lynx (Felis Lynx. L.) Buff. VIII. xxi. 

Reddish fawn-colour, most frequently spotted 
with blackish ; tail very short. Of all the old 
continent. It was formerly found in France, 
and it is not long since the last of the race have 
disappeared from Germany. 

The Lynx of Canada, (Felis Canadensis, Geoff.) Buff. 
Supp. III. XLIV. 

Whitish gray with some spots of a pale brown 
It appears to form a distinct species. 

The American Lynx, (Felis rufa. Guld.) Screb. CIX. B. 

Reddish fawn-colour, patched with brownish. 
Brown waves on the thighs. Somewhat smaller 
than the lynx. Of the United States. 


The Lynx of the Marshes, Booted Lynx, &c. (Felis Chaus, 
Guld.) Schreb; CX. Bruce"s Travels, pi. xxv. 

A yellowish gray brown; hinder part of the 
legs blackish. Inhabits the marshes of the Cau- 
casus, of Persia, Egypt, and Abyssinia. Hants 
water-fowl, &c. 

The Caracal (Felis Caracal, L.) Buff. IX. xxiv. and Supp. 


Of a vinous red nearly uniform. Inhabits Per- 
sia, Turkey, fyc. Is the true lynx of the an- 

The inferior species, the ears of which have no 
pencils of hairs, resemble more or less our domestic 
cat. Such are, 

The Serval, (Felis Serval, L.) Buff. XIII. xxxv. 

As large as a lynx. Yellowish, with irregular 
black spots. 

The Jaguarondi, (Felis jaguar ondi,) Azzara, Voy. pi. x. 

Elongated, and altogether of a brownish black. 
Both these last live in the forests of South 

The Common Cat, (Felis catus, L.) Buff. VI. i. fyc. 

Originally a native of our European forests, In 
its wild state it is grayish brown, with trans- 


verse waves of a deeper colour. The under 
part is pale ; the inside of the thighs and four 
paws yellowish. Three bands on the tail, and 
the lower third blackish. In a domestic state, 
it varies, as every one knows, in colour, in the 
length and fineness of the fur, but infinitely 
less so than the dog. It is also much less sub- 
missive and attached. 

The Amphibious Animals 

Will form the third and last of the small tribes into 
which we shall divide the Carnivora. Their feet are so 
short and so much enveloped in the skin, that they can 
use them on the earth for no purpose but creeping. 
But as the intervals of the toes are filled by mem- 
branes, they form excellent oars. These animals ac- 
cordingly pass the most considerable portion of their 
life in the sea, and do not come to land except to bask 
in the sun, and suckle their little ones. Their elon- 
gated bodies, the great mobility of their spine, and 
the strength of its flexor-muscles, their narrow pel- 
vis, their hair smooth and tightened, as it were, 
against the skin, are properties, which combined 
together, are well calculated to make them excel- 
lent swimmers ; and all the details of their anatomy 
confirm this opinion, and correspond with the result 
of our first superficial observations. 

But two genera have hitherto been distinguished, 
the Seals and the Morses. 


The Seals (Phoca, L.) 

Have four or six incisors above, four below, pointed 
canines and cheek teeth to the number of twenty, 
twenty-two, or twenty-four, all trenchant or conical, 
without any tuberculous part. Five toes on all the 
feet, those of the fore-feet decreasing gradually 
from the thumb or great toe to the little one ; while, 
on the contrary, in the hind feet, the great and little 
toe are the longest, and the intermediate ones de- 
crease in size. The fore-limbs are enveloped in the 
skin of the body as far as the wrist, the hinder nearly 
as far as the heel. Between them is a short tail. 
The head of the seals resembles that of a dog, 
and they likewise possess the kind and intelligent 
expression of countenance peculiar to that animal. 
They are easily tamed, and soon become attached 
to those who feed them. Their tongue is smooth, 
and sloping towards the end. The stomach is 
simple, the caecum short, the canal long, and tolera- 
bly equal. These animals live on fish; they eat 
always in the water, and can close their nostrils 
when they dive by means of a kind of valve. As 
they dive for a long time, it has been supposed that 
the botale foramen remained open in them as in the 
foetus. But this is not the case ; there is, however, 
a large venous sinus in the liver which assists them 
in diving, and renders respiration less necessary to 
the circulation of the blood. Their blood is very 
abundant and extremely black. 


The Seals, properly so called, or without external ears, 

Have pointed incisors, the external parts of which 
above are longer than the other teeth. They have 
trenchant molars with many points. All their toes 
possess a power of motion, and are terminated by 
pointed nails placed on the edge of the membrane 
which unites them. 

The common Seal. (Phoca Vitulina, L.) Buff. XIII. xlv. 
and Supp. VI. xlvi. 

From three to five feet in length : of a yellowish 
gray : more or less waved or spotted with brown 
according to the age. It becomes white in old 
age. It is common on our coasts and found to 
a considerable distance in the north. We are 
even assured that it is this species which inha- 
bits the Caspian Sea, and the large lakes of 
fresh water in Russia and Siberia, but this 
assertion does not appear to be founded on a 
very exact comparison. 

The Crescent Seal, or Swartside. (Phoca Groenlandica.) 
Egede Groenl. fig. A. pag. 62. 

Yellowish gray, spotted with brown when 
young, marked afterwards with an oblique 
brown semilunar mark five feet long. Of the 
Icy Sea. 


The White-bellied Seal. (Phoca monachus, Gm.) Buff. Supp, 
VI. pi. xiii. 

From ten to twelve feet long. Blackish brown, 
with white belly. Of the Mediterranean, and 
more especially of the Adriatic Sea. 

The Bottle-nosed Seal. (Phoca Leonina, L.) Sea-Lion of 
Anson ; Sea- Wolf of Pernetty ; Sea-Elephant of the 
English and of Peron. Peron, Voy. L. xxxn. 

From twenty to twenty-five feet long ; brown ; 
the muzzle of the male is terminated by a 
wrinkled sort of horn or snout, which swells up 
when the animal is angry. It is common in the 
southern latitudes of the Pacific Ocean, in Terra- 
del-Fuego, New Zealand, and Chili. It is hunted 
on account of the abundant oil which it furnishes. 

The Hooded Seal. (Phoca Oristata, Gm., Phoca Leonina, 
Fabricius.) Egede, vi. 

Eight feet long. A sort of moveable cowl or 
crest attaches to the summit of the head, with 
which the animal covers its eyes and muzzle 
when threatened. Inhabits the Icy Sea. 

The Seals, with external ears. (Otaries, Peron.) 

Might deserve to form a genus apart, since, beside 
the external projecting ears, they have the four 
middle incisives in the upper row with double edges s 


a form hitherto unremarked in any other animal. 
The external ones are simple, and smaller, and the 
four lower ones are forked. All the molars are 
simply conic ; the toes of the anterior web-feet are 
almost immoveable ; the membrane of the hinder 
feet is prolonged in a small strap ; beyond each toe 
all the nails are flat and slender. Their hair is less 
smooth than that of the preceding tribe. 

The Maned Seal. (Phoca jubata, Gm.) Sea Lion of Steller, 
Pernetty, fyc. Buff. Supp. VII. xlviii. 

From fifteen to twenty feet long and more. 
Yellow ; the neck of the male covered with hairs 
thicker and more frizzled than those on the rest 
of the body. It may be found in the entire 
Pacific Ocean, if, as seems probable, those of 
the Straits of Magellan do not differ from those 
of the Aleutian Isles. 

The Sea Bear. (Phoca Ursina, Gm.) Buff. Supp. VII. xlvii. 

Eight feet long, without a mane, varying from 
brown to whitish. Of the North Pacific Ocean- 
Some other seals are found in this sea, not 
differing much from the sea-bear except in size 
and colour. Such is the small Black Seal of 
Buffon. f Phoca pusillaj Buff. XIII. liii. The 
Yellow Seal of Shaw, fyc. 

The Mouses, (Trichecus.) 
Resemble the seals in the limbs and general form of 


the body, but differ much in the head and teeth, 
Their lower jaw wants incisors and canine teeth, and 
takes in front a compressed form that it may be 
placed between two enormous canines, or rather 
tusks, which grow from the upper jaw, and are di- 
rected towards the lower, being sometimes nearly 
two feet in length and of a proportionable thickness. 
The enormous size of the alveolars necessary to form 
a lodgment for canines of this description elevates 
the top of the upper jaw in the form of a large in- 
flated muzzle, and the nostrils are nearly directed 
upwards, and do not terminate the snout. The 
molars have all the figure of short and obliquely 
truncated cylinders. Four are reckoned on each 
side, above and below ; but at a certain age two of 
the upper ones fall out. Between the two canines 
are, moreover, two incisors, like the molars, and 
which the generality of writers have not recognised 
to be incisors, though they are inserted in the inter- 
maxillary bone. Between them are also two small 
and pointed ones in young individuals. 

The stomach and intestines of the morses are 
pretty much the same with those of the seals. It 
would seem that they are sustained as well on fuci 
as on animal substances. 

But one species has been as yet distinguished, 
which is called* The Sea-Cow, Sea-Horse, Great 
Toothed Beast, &c. 

* Shaw suspects that there may be two distinguished by tusks 
more or less thick and more or less convergent. 


(Trichecus rosmarus, &c, Lin.) Buff. XIII. liv. and better 
Cook,//i. Voy. 

It inhabits all parts of the Icy Sea, surpasses 
the strongest bulls in breadth, attains even to 
twenty feet in length. It is covered with a 
smooth and yellowish hair. It is in great re- 
quest for its oil and tusks, the ivory of which, 
though grained, can yet be employed in the arts. 
Excellent main-braces for carriages are also 
made of the skin*. 


Which we range at the end of the Carnassiers, as a 
fourth family of this great order, but which might 
almost form a separate order, as they present so 
many peculiarities in their economy. 

The first of these peculiarities is the premature 
production of their young, which are born in a state 
scarcely comparable to the development at which 
ordinary foetuses arrive within a few days after con- 
ception. Incapable of motion, scarcely shewing the 
germs of limbs and other external organs, these little 
ones remain attached to the teats of the mother until 
they are developed as far as the young of other 
animals are at their birth. The skin of the abdomen 
is most usually disposed in the form of a pouch 
round the teats, and the imperfectly developed young 

* Previous naturalists have very inconveniently joined to the 
Morses the Lamantins and Dugongs, animals which are much more 
closely allied to the Cetacea. 


are there preserved as in a second matrix, and even 
after they have learned to walk, they constantly re- 
turn hither when they apprehend any danger. Two 
peculiar bones, attached to the pubis and interposed 
within the muscles of the abdomen, afford a support 
to the pouch, and, strange to say, are found in the 
males as well as females, and in those species where 
the fold of skin which constitutes the pouch is 
scarcely visible. 

The matrix of the animals of this family is not 
opened by a single orifice in the bottom of the va- 
gina ; but it communicates with this canal by two 
lateral tubes in the form of a handle. It would seem 
that the premature birth of the young is connected 
with this very singular organization. The males have 
the scrotum situated in front of the penis, unlike all 
other quadrupeds. Another peculiarity of the mar- 
supiata is, that notwithstanding a general resem- 
blance between the species, so striking, that for a 
long period they were formed but into a single genus, 
yet they differ so strongly in the teeth, feet, and or- 
gans of digestion, that were these characters rigo- 
rously attended to, these animals might be divided 
among various orders. We find in them insensible 
shades from the carnassiers to the rodentia, and 
without attending to the peculiar bones of the pouch, 
and regarding all which possess them as marsupiata, 
many might be found which it would be proper to 
insert among the Edentata ; and, in fact, we shall 
have them there under the name of Monotr ernes. 
We might say, in a word, that the Marsupiata 


form a distinct class, parallel to that of the ordinary 
quadrupeds, and divisible into similar orders. This 
holds good so far, that if we were to place the two 
orders in two opposite columns, the Sarigues, Das- 
yuri, and Perameles, might stand against the insecti- 
vorous Carnassiers with long canines, such as the 
Tenrecs and the Moles. The Phalangers and Kan- 
garoos, might pair with the Hedgehogs and Shrews. 
The Kangaroos, indeed, properly so called, cannot 
with propriety be compared to any other animals, 
but the Phascolomys might rank with the Rodentia. 
Linnaeus arranged all the species which he knew 
under his genus Didelphis, a word which signifies 
double matrix. The pouch may doubtless, in some 
respects, be considered as a second. The first sub- 
division of the Marsupiata is distinguished by long 
canines and small incisives in the two jaws, back 
molars bristling with points, and, in general, by all 
the characters belonging to the teeth of the insecti- 
vorous Carnassiers. Accordingly we find that the 
regimen of these two families is almost entirely 
similar. The thumb of the hinder feet is also 
opposable, which has originated for these animals the 
name of Pedimana. It wants a nail. The two first 
sub-genera have the four other toes distinct. 

The Sarigues*. (Didelphis, L.) 

Have ten incisors above, the middle ones a little 

* Carigueia is their Brasilian name, according to Margrave, 
whence have been formed Sariguoi, Cerigon, Sarigue. They are 
named Micoure, in Paraguay; Manicou, in the islands; Opossum, 
m the United States ; and Thlaquatrin, in Mexico. 


longer than the rest, and eight below. Three anterior 
cheek-teeth compressed, and four posterior ones brist- 
ling with points, the upper of which are triangular and 
the lower oblong. In all they have fifty teeth, the 
greatest number yet observed among quadrupeds. 
The tongue is rough and bristly, the tail prehensile 
and partly naked. The thumb of the hinder foot is 
long and considerably separated from the other toes. 
Their mouth being very deeply divided, and their 
large naked ears, give them a very peculiar phy- 
siognomy. They are fetid and nocturnal animals, 
very slow in their motions. They lodge in trees, 
and there pursue birds, insects, fyc, without, how- 
ever, rejecting fruits. Their stomach is small and 
simple, the caecum of moderate size, and not 

In certain species the females have a deep pouch, 
within which are their teats and where they can en- 
close their little ones. 

The Sarigue, with bi-coloured ears, Opossum of the Anglo- 
Americans. (Didelphis Virginiana.) Penn. Hist. 
Quad. 302. 

Almost as large as a cat, with fur mingled with 
black and white ; the ears equally divided be- 
tween white and black, and the head almost 
entirely white. Inhabits the whole of America; 
comes by night into the frequented places to 
attack hens, eat their eggs, fyc. Their young 
ones, sometimes sixteen in number, do not weigh 
above a single grain at their birth* Although 
blind and almost unformed, they find the teat by 


instinct, and adhere to it until they have grown 
to the size of a mouse, which does not take 
place till after the fiftieth day, when they open 
their eyes. They do not discontinue their visits 
to the pouch until they are as large as rats. The 
period of gestation in the uterus is only twenty- 
six days. 

The Crab-eater, or Great Sarigue of Cayenne, Brazil, 8fC. 
(Did. Marsupialis et Did. Cancrivora, L.) Buff. Supp. 


Of the size of the preceding ; yellowish, mingled 
with brown ; a brown line on the forehead ; 
lives in marshy places near the sea-shore, and 
is sustained principally on crabs. 

The four-eyed, or middle-sized Sarigue of Cayenne. (Didel- 
phis Opossum, L.) Buff. X. xlv. xlvi. 

Chestnut or fawn-coloured above, whitish below. 

A spot of pale yellowish above each eye. Larger 

than a large rat. 
Some other species have no pouches, but merely 
a fold on each side of the belly, which is but the 
vestige of a pouch. Their custom is to carry their 
little ones on their backs, with the tails twisted 
round that of the mother. 

The Cayopollin. (Did. Cayopollin, Did. Philander, Did. 
• Dorsigera, L.) Buff. X. lv. 

Yellowish gray ; the circumference of the eyes 

Vol. II. F 


and a band upon the nose brown, the tail spotted 
with black. It is about as large as the Sur- 
mulot or Brown Rat ( mus decumanus). 

Marinose, or Marine Opossum. (Did, Marina.) Buff. X. 


Yellowish gray, a brown spot in the midst of 
which stands the eye. Tail not spotted. Less 
than a rat. 
The Touan. (Did. brachyura.) Buff. Supp. VII. lxi. 

The back blackish, the flanks of a lively red, 
the belly white, the tail shorter than the body. 
Less than a rat. 
These three species belong to South America. 

Finally, one species is known with the feet 
webbed, and must be aquatic. It is not known 
whether it has a pouch or not. It is 

Chironectes, Illig. (Didelp. Palmata, Geoff. The small 
Otter of Guiana, Buff. Supp. III. xxn. Lutramemina, 

It is brown above, with three transverse gray bands 
broken in the middle, and white underneath. Larger 
than a Surmulot. 

The Dasyuri, (Dasyurus, Geoff.) 

Have two incisors and four cheek-teeth less in each 
jaw than the Sarigues. Thus there remain to them 
only forty-two teeth, and their tail covered all over 
with long hairs (from which their name is derived 


hao-hg and oo$og) is not prehensile. Their hinder thumb 
is also much shorter, and like a tubercle. Thev 
inhabit New Holland, and live on insects, carcasses, 
Src, sometimes penetrating even into the houses, 
where their voracity renders them very unseason- 
able guests. Their mouth is less divided, their 
muzzle less pointed, their ears are hairy, and shorter 
than in the sarigues. They do not climb trees. 

The Dog-headed Dasyurus, (Did. Cynocephala,) Harris, 
. Soc. Lin. IX. xix. 

As large as a dog (three feet and a half long 
without the tail, which is nearly two,) tail com- 
pressed ; gray fur. 

The Rough Dasyurus, {Did. Ursina, id. ib.) 

With long, coarse, black hairs, and some white 
spots irregularly distributed. It inhabits with 
the preceding the north of Van Dieman's Land. 
Mr. Harris gives it eight incisors above and 
ten below ; makes the tail slightly prehensile, 
and naked on the under side. It may probably 
form a new sub-genus when better known. 

The Long-tailed Dasyurus, {Das. Macrouros), Geoff. Peron. xxxin. 

As large as a marten, with a tail as long as the 

body. Brown fur spotted with white covering 

the body and the tail. 

F % 


The Dasyurus of MaugL 

Olive-coloured, spotted with white, but with- 
out spots on the tail. Somewhat less than the 

The Dasyurus of White, {Did. Viverrina, Shaw,) Gen. ZooL 
CXI. White Bot. b. App. 285. 

Black, spotted with white, without spots on 
the tail. One-third less than the preceding. 

The Tapod-Tafa, White, Bot. b. App. 281. 

Uniformly grayish. 

The Pencilled or Brush-tailed Dasyurus, {Did. penicillata, 
Shaio) Gen. Zool. I. cxni. 

Gray, the tail covered with black and rough 

The Dwarf Dasyurus. 

Less than a rat, of an ashy- red. The thumb 
longer, and the teeth more equal and more 
contiguous than in the preceding species. 
Inhabits the South of Van Diemen's Land. 

T/^Perameles, (Perameles, Geoff.) Phylacis, Illig. 

Have the hinder thumb equally short with the Da- 
syuri, and the two succeeding toes are united toge- 
ther by a skin as far as the nails. The great and 
small toe of the fore-feet have the form of simple 


tubercles. The upper incisors are ten in number, 
the external ones of which are pointed and se- 
parated. The lower incisors are six only. Their 
molars are the same as those of the Sarigues. They 
have forty-eight teeth in all. The tail is hairy and 
not prehensile. They also inhabit Australasia. 
Their large nails, almost straight, denote that they 
dig into the ground, and their long hind-feet that 
their course must be rapid. 

The Perameles with pointed muzzle, {Perameles Nasutus, G.) 
Ann. du Mus. IV. 

With muzzle exceedingly elongated, pointed 
ears, and fur of a grayish-brown . It resembles 
the tensee at the first glance. 

The second subdivision of the Marsupiata pos- 
sesses in the lower jaw, two long and large incisors, 
pointed, and with trenchant edges, inclining for- 
wards, and having six corresponding ones in the 
upper jaw. Their upper canines are also long and 
pointed. But the lower canines are such exces- 
sively small teeth, that they are often concealed by 
the gums. The last sub-genus is even sometimes 
found to want these lower teeth altogether. 

Their regimen is in a great measure frugivorous. 
Their intestines, and above all, their ceecum, is ac- 
cordingly longer than those of the Sarigues. They 
have all a large thumb, so much separated from the 
other toes as to have the appearance of being di- 
rected backwards almost like that of birds. It is 


destitute of nail, and the two toes which follow it 
are joined together by the skin, even as far as the 
last phalanx. This arrangement has caused these 
animals to be termed, 

Phalange rs, (Phalangista, Cuv.) 

1%<?Phalangers properly so called, (Balantia, Illig.)* 

Have not the skin of the flanks extended. They 
have in each jaw on each side four back grinders, 
each presenting four points on two ranks, in front a 
large conical one compressed, and between this and 
the upper canine two small and pointed ones ; to 
which correspond the three very small ones below, 
of which we have spoken. The tail is always pre- 

Some have the tail in a great measure scaly. 
They live in the Moluccas on trees, where they seek 
for insects and fruits. When they see a man they 
suspend themselves by the tail, and it is possible to 
make them fall through lassitude, by continuing to 

* The name phalanger was given by Buffon to a single spe- 
cies known in his time, on account of the union of the two toes of 
the foot. That of philander is not, as might be supposed derived 
from the Greek, but from the word pelandor, which in Malay means 
a rabbit, and which the inhabitants of Amboyna give to a species of 
the kangaroo. Seba and Brisson have applied it indistinctly to all 
pouched animals. In the Moluccas the phalangers are called cous- 
cous or coussous. The first travellers, not having sufficiently distin- 
guished them from the sarigues. gave occasion to believe that this 
last genus was common to the two continents. Balantia comes 
from Batten h>v, a purse or pouch. 


stare at them for some time. They diffuse an un- 
pleasant odour, yet their flesh is eatable. 

As to their colours, some are whitish, some gray 
spotted with black, some red with a brown streak 
along the spine (which are most common), and some 
brown with white crupper. But the limits of their 
species have not yet been precisely determined. 
Linne's denomination ofDidelphis Orimtalis embraces 
them all. (Buff. XIII. x. xi.) 

The Fox-like Phalanger, (Did. Lemurina et Vulpina, Shaw.) 
Bruno de Viq. d'Az. White, Voy. 278. 

As large as a rat, or even as a cat, grayish-brown, 
more pale underneath, with a tail chiefly black. 

The Phalanger of Cook, (Cook, Last Voy., pi. vin.) 

Less than a cat, reddish-gray, white under 
neath, red in the flanks, a white interval to- 
wards the end of the tail. 

The Flying Phalanger s, (Petaurus, Shaw.) Phalan- 
gisia, Illig. 

Have the skin of the flanks more or less extended 
between the legs, like the polatouches (flying squir- 
rels) among the rodentia, which permits them to 
sustain themselves for some instants in the air and 
to make more extended leaps. They are also found 
no where but in New Holland. 

In some of this species are found some lower ca- 
nine teeth, but extremely small. Their upper ca- 


nines, and the three first molars,- both above and 
below, are remarkably pointed. The back molars 
have each four points. 

The Flying Dwarf Phalanger, {Bid. Pymaa, Shaw,) Gen. cxiv. 

Of the colour and almost the size of a mouse: 
The hairs of the tail are very regularly disposed 
on each side like the barbs of a pen. 

Some other species want the lower canines, and 
the upper are very small. Their four back molars 
also present four points, but somewhat curved in 
the form of a crescent, which is pretty nearly the 
form of those of the ruminantia. In front there are 
two above and one below, less complicated. This 
structure renders them still more frugivorous than 
the preceding species. 

The Great Flying Phalanger, {Did. Petaurus, Shaw,) Gen. White, Voy.288. 

Resembles the taguan and the galeopithecus in 
size. Its fur is soft and copious, its tail long 
and compressed or flattened. They are of dif- 
ferent shades of brown. Some are variegated 
and others whitish. 

The Long-tailed Flying Phalanger, {Did. Macroura, ib.) 

Deep brown above, white underneath. As 
large as a Surmulot, with a slender tail, about 
one and a half as long again as the body. 


Our third subdivision has the incisives, and the 
upper canines like the second. The two toes of the 
hind feet are also united in a similar manner. But 
they want the posterior thumb, and the lower ca- 
nines. It comprehends but a single genus. 

The Kanguroo-Rats, (Hypsyprymnus, Illig.*) 

The last animals of this family which preserve any 
thing of the general characters of the Carnassiers. 
Their teeth are prett}/ - nearly the same as those of 
the phalangers> and they have an additional pointed 
canine above. The two middle incisors in the upper 
row are longer than the others and pointed. Below 
they have but two, inclining forw r ard. They have a 
long molar in front, trenchant and indented, followed 
by four others with four blunt tubercles. What, 
however, most eminently distinguishes these ani- 
mals is their hind legs, being much longer in propor- 
tion than the fore. The feet of the latter want the 
thumb or great toe, and have the two first toes 
joined together as far as the nail ; so that it might be 
imagined, on a slight glance, that there were but 
three toes, the internal one of which had two nails. 
They often walk on two feet, and employ their 
long and strong tail to support themselves. They 
have the form and habits of the kanguroos, from 
which they differ only by having their canine tooth 
in the upper jaw. Their regimen is frugivorous, 
and their stomach large, and provided with many 

* 'Yxpi^vfAvoi;, raised from the hinder part. 


convolutions ; but the caecum is rounded and of 
moderate size. 

There is but one species known, of the size of a 
small rabbit, and of a mouse-coloured gray, which 
has been called Kanguroo-rat, (Macropus minor, Shaw.) 
It comes from New Holland, where the inhabitants 
call it potoroo. White, Bot. B. 286. 

The fourth subdivision does not differ from the 
third, but by the total absence of canine teeth. It 
is that of 

The Kanguroos, (Macropus, Shaw. Halmaturus , Illig.*) 

Which exhibit all the characters which we have just 
assigned to the preceding genus, except that the 
upper canine is wanting, and that the middle inci- 
sors surpass the others. The irregularity of their 
limbs is still more remarkable. This is so great, 
that they walk on all-fours with difficulty and slow- 
ness, but bound with prodigious vigour on their hind- 
feet, the large nail in the middle of which, almost 
in the shape of a wooden shoe, serves them also as 
a weapon of defence ; for, resting on one leg and 
their enormous tail, they can give very violent blows 
with the foot which is at liberty. In other respects 
they are animals extremely mild, and their regimen 
is herbivorous. Accordingly, we find that their 
cheek-teeth exhibit only transverse cones. They 
have but five, the anterior of which fall out in age, 
so that the old ones have no more than three. Their 

* Fitted for leaping, «;\Aop«». 


stomach is formed of two long pouches, divided into 
cavities like the colon. Their csecum is also large 
and cavernose. The radius allows a complete rota- 
tion to their fore-arm. 

The penis of these two genera is not divided, 
but the female organs are the same as in the other 
pouched animals. 

The Gigantic Kanguroo (Macropics Major, Shaw. Didelphis 
Gigantia, Gm.) Schreb. CLIII. 

Sometimes is six feet high ; the largest animal 
in New Holland. It was discovered by Cook, 
in 1779, and at the present day it propagates 
in Europe. They say that its flesh resembles 
that of the stag. The little ones, which have 
but one thumb when born, betake themselves to 
the pouch of the mother, even when they are 
old enough to graze, which they do by thrust- 
ing their muzzles out of the mother's pouch 
when she is herself grazing. They live in 
troops conducted by the old males. They 
make enormous leaps. 
It would appear that under this name many spe- 
cies of New Holland and the adjoining countries 
have been hitherto confounded, the fur of which, 
more or less gray, varies only by very trifling 

* JVI. Geoffroy distinguishes the Smoked Kanguroo, the gray of 
which is somewhat deeper. The Kanguroo with Moustaches, which 
has some white on the front of the upper lip. The Red-necked Kan- 
guroo, rather less than the others, and having the nape of the neck 
tinted with red. 


Very lately has been discovered, 

The Elegant Kanguroo, (Macr. elegans,) Peron. 
Voy. I. xxvii. 

Of the size of a large hare, gray-white, radiated 
cross- wise with brown. Of the island of St. 

Another species has been known much more an- 
ciently : 

The Kanguroo of Aroe, (JDidelphis brunii, Gm.) Schreb. 
CXLIII. Named Pelandor Aroe, or the Rabbit of Aroe, 
by the Malays of Amboyna. 

European naturalists did not pay sufficient at- 
tention to the description given by Valentine 
and Le Bruyn of this animal. It is larger than 
a hare, brown above and fawn-coloured under- 
neath, and is found in the islands of Aroe\ near 
Banda, and in that of Solor. 

The fifth subdivision has in the lower jaw two 
long incisors without canines, and the upper two 
long incisors situated in the middle, some small 
ones on the sides, and two small canines. It com- 
prehends but one genus. 

The Koalas, 
With clumsy body, short legs, and without a tail. 
Its front toes, to the number of five, are divided into 
two groups for the purpose of grasping : the thumb 
and index are on one side, the three other toes on 
the opposite. The thumb is wanting in the hind- 


foot, the two first toes of which are joined together 
as in the preceding genera. 

But one species is known, with ash-coloured 
hair, which passes a part of its life in trees and 
another part in burrows dug with its feet. The 
mother carries her young one for a long time on her 

Finally, our sixth division of the Marsupiata will 

The Phascolomes. (Phascolomys, Geoff*.) 

These are true rodentia by the teeth and the intes- 
tines. The only affinities they preserve to the Car- 
nassiers consist in the articulation of the lower jaw, 
and in a rigorous system it would be necessary to 
class them with the rodentia. We should, indeed, 
have so classed them, had we not been conducted to 
them by an unbroken series from the didelphes to 
the phalangers ; from those to the kanguroos ; and 
from the kanguroos to the phascolomes ;j and also if 
the organs of generation had not been precisely 
similar in all the pouched animals. 

They are heavy animals, with a large flat head, 
short legs, and shapeless body. They are without 
a tail, and have five nails on the front- toes, and four, 
with a small tubercle instead of thumb, on the hinder 
feet, all long and proper for digging. Their gait is 
excessively slow. They have in each jaw two long 

* Pouched Rat, from tpa.vv.w'hov and ^.S;. 


incisives almost like those of the rodentia, and their 
cheek-teeth have each two transverse cones. 

They live on grass, have a pyriform stomach, and 
a broad and short caecum, provided, like that of man 
and the ourang-outang, with a vermiform appendage. 
The penis is forked as in the sarigues. 

But one species is known, about the size of a 
badger, with a copious fur more or less yellowish. It 
lives in King Island, south of New Holland, in 
burrows. It would propagate with facility in our 
climates, and its flesh is said to be excellent. It is 

The Didelphis Ursina of Shaw. The natives call it 
Wombat*. (Peron, Voy. pi. xxviii.) 

* M. Bass has described an animal externally the same as the 
Phascolomes, and to which he also gives the name of Wombat, but 
which would appear to have six incisors, two canines, and sixteen 
molars in each jaw. If there be not some erroneous combination of 
two different descriptions, this would be an additional sub-genus to 
place among the perameles. M. Illiger has already established it 
under the name Amblotis. — See Mem. de Petersb. 1803 to 1806, 
p. 444, and the Bulletin des Sciences, No. 72, An. XI. 



^ : ^Mm^M 

--;-'/_■: y t^s 



•; BEE RE ■ ■ ■ U..1 ■ ■ !*«5.THJE KOA^A. 11. 

/./ ! •:■. ■ ' . I .1 Waken ■; - 




The name given by our author to his second order of marami- 
ferous animals, and which is adopted here without altera- 
tion, may demand some explanation. It certainly has an 
unscientific sound to scientific ears ; nor is it really unex- 
ceptionable ; but as difficulties attend its rejection, and the 
consequent substitution of a better term, greater than 
those which accompany its use, prudence dictates the choice 
of the lesser evil. 

Carnassiers (or flesh-eaters simply) is applied by our 
author to eaters of flesh, either partially or exclusively. In 
that comprehensive sense it would indeed include many 
animals not arranged by him in this order, belonging both 
to this and even other classes ; but it is restricted again to 
such flesh-eaters as have the three kinds of teeth, together 
with the jaws articulated exclusively for a vertical opening 
and the other minor particulars pointed out by the Baron in 
his introductory observations on the order. 

The word carnivora is more familiar to the English 
reader, which, as it conveys a signification of a voracious 
appetite for flesh, rather than simply the means or inclina- 
tion to eat, it is aptly enough applied exclusively to those 
which feed altogether, or almost altogether, on animal mat- 
ter. These may be also conveniently termed beasts of prey. 

The Carnassiers, then, according to Cuvier, include, as we 
have seen, five families : — the cheiroptera, or bats ; insecti- 
vora ; carnivora, or beasts of prey ; the amphibia ; and the 
marsupiata, or pouched animals. 


The flying membrane of the bats, the subterraneous habits 
of the insectivora, the sanguinary voracity of the beasts of 
prey, the aquatic location of the amphibia, and the double 
matrix of the marsupiata, would offer grounds for separating 
each of these families into distinct orders with sufficient 
precision and exactness ; but the same influential character 
of dentition pervades them all — the analogy is general- 
incisive teeth, canine and cutting cheek-teeth are found 
throughout, varying in aptitude for carnivorous regimen, in 
accordance with the degree of carnivorous impulse of the 
several species. 

In zoological arrangement, as has been observed, the 
most influential characters must be exhausted before those of 
minor consequence are resorted to, and none is more im- 
portant in its consequences than that of dentition*; what- 
ever other discrepancies, therefore, may be observed be- 
tween the different families of this order, principle requires 
that apparent convenience should be sacrificed to real pro- 
priety, and that all the animals with flesh-eating teeth 
should be included in one order, for which the word car- 
nassiers, as applicable to the character of the teeth, is equally 
serviceable with any classico-barbarous appellation that 
might be coined for the purpose. 

The animal kingdom, when viewed abstractedly in regard 
to the carnivorous propensities of so very large a portion of 
it, presents a painful and distressing picture, a picture the 
eye of humanity could never bear to contemplate but for a 
simultaneous consciousness and self-conviction of the mind, 
of a propensity and practice in ourselves, which we revolt 
from in inferior beings. In this instance it seems indeed ne- 
cessary to suppress and stifle our better feelings, rather than 

* This remark is subject to some qualification. In the cheiro- 
ptera, as we shall see, dentition is not always the most important 
character. — P. 


by refinement and sensitiveness, vainly to endeavour at 
counteracting the impulse of nature, or rashly to oppose the 
imperious dictates of necessity. Nor can we very satisfac- 
torily account in reasoning and theory, for that which dis- 
gusts us so much in practice. Why the life of one should 
necessitate the death of another ; why many indeed should 
die that one may li ve, is very difficult to answer. 

The Mosaic history affords negative evidence, that the 
carnivorous necessity was not coeval with animal creation. 
" And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the 
air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein 
there is life, I have given every green herb for meat," Man, 
according to the same sacred authority, was not authorized 
to eat flesh till after the flood. It seems, therefore, that the 
change generally took place after the pristine state of animal 
life, and must have been accompanied with great changes, 
both in physical character and mental impulse. We are 
not able to surmise any rational cause for this, unless we 
refer it to the fall of man, which " brought death and all 
our woes into the world." Should the suffering of innocence 
for the crimes of guilt be deemed unjust, and therefore 
improbable, we may observe analogous dispensations of 
Providence around us ; the fate of many species is more or 
less hard now, according to the direction in which man can 
turn them to his use. In society also no man is so isolated 
as not to confer credit or shame, misery or happiness, on 
many connected with him. Even the mysterious doctrine 
of atonement may be said to be in some degree analogous 
to the subject in question. 

Fossil osteology, it is true, as far as speculative theory has 
been hitherto deduced, from the facts offered by that branch 
of science to our notice, offers no confirmation of an age ex- 
cluding animal food. The oldest fossil remains, presumed 
by their location in remote strata, to be of incalculable an- 
Vol. II. G 


tiquity, are of carnivorous animals now known, of others 
of the same regimen, apparently still more formidable than 
any that now exist, as well as of species of the herbivorous 
races, both known and unknown, and if the antiquity of these 
bones be established, it seems to refer the era of original 
creation to a more remote period than is ordinarily under- 

The improvements in modern science lead us to the con- 
clusion that new creation and annihilation never now take 
place varied modifications, and consequent unceasing ac- 
tivity, is the business of a large portion of matter, of all of 
it, indeed, which enters into the composition of organiza- 
tion. Organized bodies, vegetable as well as animal, are 
minute when first endowed with vitality ; they accumulate, 
by degrees, till maturity, perform the important office of 
germination, and almost immediately proceed in the same 
gradual way to nonentity again, not indeed by decreasing 
in size, but in vital energy, till life becomes extinct, and 
the disorganized particles separate. 

These particles sooner or later again appear to enter into 
the composition of some other living body, modified in 
shape indeed, but engaged in the same office of vitality, till 
again dismissed, and taken up by a third ; and thus does 
all matter capable of organization proceed successively in 
its destined office. 

The modes by which this is performed, in animal and 
vegetable bodies, are very analogous ; the plant sucks up 
its nutrition by its roots, not from the steril sand or rock, 
but from the disorganized particles in the earth and water, 
which yield nutrition in proportion as they are saturated 
with such particles. The roots of animals, that is, the sto- 
mach, in like manner, derive support from disorganized 
matter; in some species, from vegetables only, in others, 
from flesh alone, and in many, from both. The animal, as 


well as vegetable, having played its part, dies, but still is 
essential, by administering to the necessities of its survi- 
vors, more or less, directly of either kind. 

It may be observed, that flesh decomposed is much more 
favourable to the sustentation of the living plant, even than 
vegetable compost. Abstract the immaterial anima there- 
fore from the flesh, and in its elements, at least, it is nearly 
allied to the mere vegetables. 

The conclusion, from these premises, therefore, if cor- 
rect, appears to be, that all aliment, which must be either 
flesh or vegetable, however dissimilar in present character, 
is essentially the same. 

The food of animals is, to a certain extent, a subject of 
volition and choice, but they are restricted in their election 
by physical adaptations. Many of the order before us, have 
not the power either of masticating or digesting vegetable 
substances, others can do it partially — the former possess 
strength, agility, and the power of enduring abstinence to 
a very great degree, the latter sort possess these qualities, 
proportioned to the necessity for carnivorous regimen ; and 
all are endowed according to such necessities, With an ap- 
petite and mental impulse for destruction, by a power 
over which they can exercise no control. 

It may, perhaps, be questioned whether some of the feel- 
ings to which we might wish to give another Origin, as a 
taste for sport, as it is called, by the destruction, in various 
ways, of less powerful beings, do not owe its existence to 
some such principle inherent even in the mind of man. 

The several physical peculiarities, above alluded to, 
which are displayed most obviously in the teeth, may be ob- 
served to form the principal grounds of the subdivisions of 
this order, combined with other characters more obvious, 
perhaps, to the senses, but less comprehensive in extent. 

G 2 


Supplementary Essay on the Cheiroptera. 

According to the opinion of some clever writers the 
quadrupedal form is the natural and primitive construction 
of the mammiferous tribes. It appears, say they, to be best 
suited for the reciprocal relations which subsist between 
those animals and the various localities by which they are 
environed. Accordingly, they consider the deviations from 
this original plan in the light of anomalies ; and the pro- 
gressive locomotion of man, for example, on one pair of ex- 
tremities, while the other is adapted to different uses, and 
fits him for new destinies, they believe an exception to the 
general rule . 

If relatively to man this consideration be curious, how 
much more reason have we for surprise on the contempla- 
tion of other exceptions to this common law which also 
seem to depart from all rules of proportion and all adapta- 
tion of means to ends. The original plan seems utterly 
overturned, and the combinations which result from its sub- 
version, can scarcely be deemed less than monstrous. 

Such are the sentiments which a general xiew of the bats 
is likely to produce in the mind of an observer. We are 
prejudiced against their deformity, and revolted by their 
disgusting ugliness. Such ideas, indeed, have been carried 
so far that nations have not hesitated to pronounce these 
animals impure, and not only to abstain from touching them 
but even to avoid all knowledge of them whatsoever. 

The writings of naturalists sufficiently attest the early 
ignorance respecting the peculiarities of this singular genus. 
Aristotle defines them to be birds with membranous wings. 
He hesitates, however, to class them with the winged tribes, 
on account of their feet, and perceiving them unprovided 
with four distinct feet, he cannot prevail upon himself to 


rank them exactly among quadrupeds. His theoretical de- 
ductions, from their want of tail and crupper, are by no 
means founded on any positive observations. 

Pliny notices them only to remark that there are birds 
which are viviparous and suckle their offspring by means of 

On the revival of letters in Europe, men were contented 
in this respect, as in every other, to copy the ancients. 
Aldrovandus was the first who expanded a little on the sub- 
ject of the bats ; but in conformity with the prejudices of 
his age, he made one family of them and the ostrich, 
because these two species of birds partake equally of the 
nature of quadrupeds. Scaliger makes quite a sort of mi- 
racle of the bat : he discovers that it has two and four legs : 
that it walks without paws, and flies without wings : that 
it sees in darkness and is blind in light : in short, that it is 
the most remarkable of all birds, for it has teeth while it is 
destitute of a beak. 

Even at a later period the organization of the cheiroptera 
was but little studied. They were considered only as far 
as it was necessary to comprehend them in certain me- 
thodical distributions, and those points of their conforma- 
tion alone attended to which corresponded with the bases 
which had been arbitrarily established for zoological sys- 
tems. However, a pretty correct idea was soon attained of 
the affinities of the bats, for, fortunately, such external cha- 
racters were chosen as grounds of distinction, as corre- 
sponded with anatomical characters more general and more 
profound. The bats were no longer separated from vivipa- 
rous quadrupeds : a profounder study of their organization 
confirmed those indications which their teeth had furnished. 

The bats, like the viviparous quadrupeds in general, have 
the bilocular heart, the cellular lungs, suspended and en- 
closed in the pleura ; the muscular diaphragm interposed 
between the cavity of the thorax and that of the abdomen ; 


an ample and compacted brain ; and the cranium composed 
of a similar number of pieces equally convoluted. Their 
sensitive, digestive, and secretive systems are similar. The 
teeth of three sorts, the body equally covered with hair, 
and they are viviparous and mammiferous. Their bones, 
their muscles, their vessels, are all upon the same construc- 
tion as in the quadrupeds in general, and the resemblance 
is so great that the minutest details of their structure would 
suffice solely and separately to shew that they are true 
mammalia, and must be comprehended in that class. 

Far, however, beyond a result like this were the bold 
views of Linnaeus, who ranged them unhesitatingly in the 
same order with man and monkeys, giving to both a similar 
name : sometimes that of Anthropomorphce (beings with a 
human visage) ; sometimes that of Primates (animals of the 
foremost rank in creation). Extraordinary as this classifi- 
cation may appear, it has been consecrated by the illustri- 
ous name of its inventor. 

A new school followed, which admitted among all living 
beings certain successive and graduated relations, and a 
progressive advance from the simple to the composite. The 
case of the bats, constituted like the mammalia, but hover- 
ing in the air like birds, furnished an example of transition 
from one class to another too tempting not to be eagerly 
adopted. But the faculty of flight in birds and in bats re- 
sults from a very different mode of organization, and to 
establish a relation between them from the circumstance of 
both being sustained in the air, is to confound the effect 
with the cause. This is produced in each by very different 
instruments, and the anomaly which this faculty presents in 
the cheiroptera is clearly derived from the type of the 

The parts which correspond to fingers are in birds very 
nearly effaced. They exist only in a rudimentary state, 
attenuated and sown as it were together. The hand of a 


bird is consequently a mere rudiment. The wing exists 
beyond it, resting and adjusted on this extremity of the 
limb, and consisting in its long terminal pennae ; so that in 
fact, in the last analysis we find that the greater part of this 
organ is composed of branches or elements belonging to the 
epidermic system. 

In the bat, on the contrary, it is the limb itself and prin- 
cipally the hand, which are so wonderfully aggrandized. 
Let us imagine the hand of an ape, the solid parts of which 
should have passed almost to a filament, and separated from 
the carpus, like the radii of the segment of a circle, and we 
shall have a precise idea of the hand of a bat. 

The thumb alone does not experience the same modifica- 
tions. It remains short, free, and susceptible of the most 
varied movements. 

Such is also the thumb of apes. As it is not employed as 
an organ of flight by the cheiroptera, that it may preserve 
its ordinary function, it remains in its full entirety, pro- 
vided with its last phalanx and with its nail. 

On the other side, the four fingers, which their immea- 
surable length changes into instruments of volitation, are 
no longer susceptible of their original destination ; so that 
it is with much pain and difficulty that the bats occasionally 
employ them to move their bodies upon a horizontal plain, 
or to hold their little ones. 

Another anomaly renders these four fingers worthy of 
attention. They are no longer entire. They are destitute 
of nails, and it is remarkable that the phalanx which ter- 
minates them, and which, in other instances, always appears 
with an impression beneath the nail, finishes exactly where 
the nail should begin. 

The long phalanges of the bats, act as supports to their 
wings, and seem destined to retain in a state of tension the 
membranous substance which resists the air. This last is 
produced in the bats by a prolongation of the skin of the 


flanks. The back and the belly furnish each a leaf as we 
may be assured of by separating the membrane of the 
wings. Notwithstanding, however, that this membrane is 
formed of two skins, pasted as it were together, it appears 
to us but a sort of slender, light, and transparent net- work. 
Thus, as the bones of the hand are only elongated by dimi- 
nishing in thickness, in like manner the tegumentary system 
is not extended but by growing slender in a similar propor- 
tion. Here it is worthy of remark, that a general law of all 
organization is made to contribute in a wonderful manner 
to facilitate the aerial movements of the cheiroptera, for 
bones more compact, and a membrane of greater density, 
especially at such a distance from the vis motrix, would 
have added a momentum to the bodies of these animals, 
that all their efforts to surmount would not have overcome. 

This analysis of the wing of a bat, by presenting to us the 
arm and hand of a mammiferous animal, the metacarpi and 
phalanges of which are united by membranes, is not only 
sufficient to convince us that there is no analogy between it 
and that of a bird, but must also lead to the consideration 
of such extremities in the mammalia as are the best calcu- 
lated for seizing objects, and the most profoundly divided. 
This will be necessary before we can perfectly understand all 
the anomalies of this singular organ. Now we find that the 
mammalia which possess the deepest digitations are the 
quadrumana; and as we find that in this particular the bats 
are next, we are led to conclude that Linnaeus judged cor- 
rectly of their natural affinities. But we are still more com- 
pletely led to this conclusion by considering other traits of 
their conformation. 

The farther we remove from the quadrumanous groups, 
who have the mammillary glands situated on the thorax, the 
more we observe those glands descend from the breast to 
the abdomen. All the bats, with the exception of one sub- 
division (the Rhinolphi) have teats exactly resembling those 


of the quadrumana, both in number and position. The 
organs of generation are similar ; but it is the teeth in par- 
ticular which leads us to the belief of identity of type in the 
quadrumana and cheiroptera. If it were otherwise, how 
could we account for the exact repetition of form in parts 
so complicated and so little essential to life as the incisive 
teeth ? The roussettes have precisely the same sort of in- 
cisors as the monkeys, and the vespertiliones as the lemurs. 
The molars stand in similar relations, being formed in the 
latter by a crown, bristling with conic points, and in the 
former by a simple edge. The cheek pouches likewise, 
which most of the monkeys of the ancient continent possess, 
and which are so perfectly in conformity with their gluttony 
and restless character, are found also in the bats. They fill 
them with insects when they hunt, and reserve them as a 
banquet to gormandize upon in their retreats. 

Such numerous relations between the quadrumana and 
bats prove that when Linnaeus placed the genus Vespertilio 
after the Lemurs, he presented those animals in the natural 
order of affinity : but he certainly went too far in placing 
man, monkeys, lemurs, and bats, in one family, under the 
title of Primates. It might have been sufficient to observe 
that these families were derived from each other ; but when 
one organ, like the hand, becomes from its disproportionate 
extension the predominant organ in the bats and the most 
actively influential on the entire mode of their existence, it 
is certainly incumbent on the naturalist to distinguish them 
by a more general term of classification. The arm of the 
bat not only prescribes the destiny of its life among created 
beings, but also demands a correlative adaptation of all the 
other parts of its organization. 

One of the points of their organization most worthy of 
remark is the disposition of the cutaneous system to extend 
beyond the outline of the animal itself, and to communicate 
to the organs of sense more compass and activity. Sufficient 
attention has not perhaps been bestowed on the manner in 


which this extension takes place. The skin of the flanks i® 
not only carried over the arms, and distributed between the 
phalanges of the metacarpi and fingers, but it also embraces 
the hinder extremities : it is prolonged, more or less, in the 
different species, between the legs, and spread to the length 
of the tail, so as to form a surface round the animal utterly 
disproportioned to the smallness of its body. In truth, a 
surface of this extent could alone impart such exquisite tact 
to the organs of touch and hearing. Spallanzani, who has 
observed their phenomena, attributes them to a sixth sense. 

The external ears participate in this tendency to exten- 
sion in the cutaneous system ; insomuch that sometimes, as 
in the vespertilio auritus, there is a portion of the ears pro- 
longed over the forehead, and partly joined together, 
equalling in length the animal itself. They participate in 
this tendency too, in a manner not a little singular, being 
double in the majority of the bats. Independently of the 
external ala of the ear, which differs from that of other ani- 
mals only by a greater degree of extension, there is a second 
which borders on the meatus auditorius. 

Although this little ear, or auricula*, is not positively to 
be found except in the bats, it is not an organ of which 
there are no traces to be discovered elsewhere. Nature 
operates with a certain number of materials, which vary 
only in dimension. This auricula is derived from the tragus, 
or rather it is the tragus itself, which we might almost be 
tempted to consider as a separate part, in consequence of 
its extent and peculiar uses. ^ 

This susceptibility of increase in the tegumentary system 
is manifested at the entrance of other cavities of the organs 
of sense. In many of the cheiroptera we find the nose bor- 
dered with crests, or foliaceous appendages, formed by a 
duplicature of the skin. These membranes are disposed in 
the form of a tunnel, the end of which serves for an entrance 

* The French term is " ordlhn? an excellent word for which 
we have no equivalent. — P. 


into the nasal cavities. Thus it is the same with the organ 
of smell as with that of hearing ; both are provided with an 
external ala or cornet. 

Parts thus extended and multiplied cannot fail to exercise 
a very powerful influence, and hence the sphere of sensation 
and perception of the bats is very considerably enlarged. 
They acquire the notion of many minute corpuscles, to which 
no other animal can be sensible. From the observations of 
Spallanzani we learn, that immediate contact is not ne- 
cessary to advertise the bats of the presence of external ob- 
jects by the sense of touch ; it is sufficient if they feel the 
air interposed between them and such objects, and appre- 
ciate the mode of its re-action on the membranes of their 
wings. We find also that those large tunnels, placed in front 
of the organs of hearing and of smell, render these animals 
sensible to the feeblest emanations of sound, and the slightest 
odoriferous exhalations. 

With these means of increasing the power of sensibility, 
and perception of external objects, the bats are also gifted 
with the faculty of excluding such perceptions at pleasure. 
This, indeed, is a most wise and necessary provision, as other- 
wise they would be completely overwhelmed by the effects 
of such sensitive acuteness. The perfection of their organs 
would be converted into a source of destruction. The little 
ear, or auricula, is made to border in such a manner on the 
meatus auditorius, that it serves as a valve to close that 
passage : a trifling inflection of the ear is sufficient for the 
performance of this operation, and in some species a mere 
contraction of the cartilages. 

The excessive extension of the hand of bats exercises a 
predominating influence not only over the organs which set 
it in motion, but also on those of a higher order, and, in 
fact, over the entire frame, submitting as it were, to itself 
all the materials of organization. The organs of sense, con- 
fined in other animals within such narrow limits, present in 


the bats the most astonishing complications, and even the 
heart is in some measure displaced, and situated higher up 
in the cheiroptera. The pectoral muscles strongly experience 
this influence ; they are more voluminous, and have their 
seat and points of attachment on a sternum, composed of 
pieces remarkable for their size and perfect ossification. 
The sternum of the quadrumana, on the other hand, is 
weak, small, and almost entirely cartilaginous. 

In the last mentioned animals the bones of the fore-arm 
are susceptible of pronation and supination, an immense 
advantage to animals designed to live in trees ; but this 
faculty would prove a serious inconvenience to the bats, as 
at every flapping of their wings, the resistance of the air 
might occasion a rotation of their hands. They are, there- 
fore, deprived of it. This is accomplished by the sacrifice 
of the cubitus, which, however, does not entirely disappear. 
The tertius humeralis remains, and this portion connected 
to the radius, contributes to give it sufficient force and 
solidity to sustain the carpus and the entire hand. 

When we compare the anterior and hinder extremities of 
the bats, we may calculate in some measure the wonderful 
augmentation of the former. The latter remain within or- 
dinary dimensions, and are but partially involved in the 
membranes of the flanks. The foot is free. The interfe- 
moral membrane has its final points of attachment on the 
tarsus, and is sustained when in a state of developement by 
one of the small bones of that part, projecting outwards in 
a spiral form. 

The hinder toes are small, compressed and equal, and 
always five in number. The thumb is indistinguishable. 
All are terminated by claws or little horny laminae, formed 
like the quarter of a circle, very sharp at the point, and re- 
markable from their equality and parallelism. 

This conformation of the toes enters of necessity into the 
constituent plan of these animals, and never experiences 


any change or modification. The functions, delegated else- 
where to the anterior extremities, are in the bats concen- 
trated in the hinder ones, where alone any genuine toes are 
found. In the others, as we have observed, but one remains, 
the other four being- nothing but solid stalks fitted to extend 
or fold up the membrane. 

Such are the resources of the bat for terraqueous locomo- 
tion. On a superficial consideration they would appear not 
easily manageable for such a purpose, yet the animal can 
draw some advantage from them in case of necessity. The 
wings, when furled, are converted into fore-feet. The bat 
then becomes a quadruped, and moves itself along with a 
tolerable degree of velocity. But there is much pain, effort, 
and diversity of action necessary for this operation. At first 
we behold the bat push forward the end of its wing and 
cling to the soil, by burying in it the nail of its thumb : then 
from this " point d'appui" it draws its hinder limbs under 
the belly, rises from this squat position, and makes a kind 
of tumble which propels its body forward. But as it fixes 
itself to the ground only by the thumb of one wing, its mo- 
tions are necessarily performed in a diagonal line, and it is 
thrown by the leap it makes on that side on which it was 
fixed. For the next step it employs the thumb of the oppo- 
site wing, and tumbling forward in an opposite direction, 
it proceeds by these alternate deviations on its destined 
course. This exercise is not a little fatiguing, and the bat 
seldom employs it except in the perfect security of its ca- 
vern, or when a series of accidents have occasioned it to 
fall on a horizontal plane. When a bat finds itself in this 
predicament, it endeavours to escape from it as soon as 
possible. For in such a situation it cannot rise from the 
ground and resume its flight. Its wings have too much ex- 
tent, and the efforts which it makes to rise, only causes 
them to dash against the ground, and procure it a new fall. 
But if it can gain an elevated place, a tree, or even a hillock.. 


it easily resumes the only position which is completely 
suitable to its nature. 

It is in the air alone that the bats really enjoy themselves. 
It is there alone that they feel possessed of perfect liberty ; 
can avail themselves of their resources ; and experience the 
most boundless confidence. Sometimes, indeed, this confi- 
dence carries so far as to make them brave real dangers. 

But these aerial courses cannot be perpetual : repose 
must follow. For this critical moment the bats reserve all 
their prudence. The perception of the dangers to which 
they are then exposed leads them to seek the most profound 
and inaccessible retreats, and to take the precaution of sus- 
pending themselves to the vaulted roof of caverns, with the 
head hanging downwards. Simply fastened in this manner, 
by the nails of their hinder feet, they have only to let go 
their hold to escape by flight every unforeseen attack. 

We may now see the reasons for this inverse position, to 
which it is remarkable that none but the bats are restrained. 
From no other situation could they so conveniently resume 
the modes of operation to which they are familiar — from 
no other could they derive so many facilities of escape from 
their enemies, and of losing themselves in the vast 
immensity of air. When the bats are ready to shoot forth 
and have to unfold the embarrassing mantle formed by the 
membrane of their wings, it is necessary that they should 
have a space at its sides proportioned to the amplitude of 
its extent. That they should fall, therefore, from an 
elevated position, is obviously necessary to the complete 
fulfilment of their intended flight. 

The hinder feet of the bats, which are intended to affix 
these animals to the ceilings of their retreats, must have a 
form appropriated to this destination. It is easy, on this 
principle, to account for the parallelism and equality of 
their toes, as also for the curved form and steely point of 
their talons. That system, which gives to the different parts 


of the organs of locomotion corresponding uses, and uses 
determined by necessary relations, is thus completed in the 
bats by extremities of this description, which are ever inva- 
riable in their forms. 

It is impossible to enter the subterraneous abodes of the 
bats without being at first considerably affected by the odour 
of their dung. It is generally gathered in considerable heaps 
under the soil towards the centre of the spaces which they 
occupy, and it is perfectly obvious from what quarter the 
excrements proceed, namely, from the vault of the cavern. 

The mode in which the bats void their excrements is 
somewhat singular. Their ordinary position, fastened as 
they are by their hinder feet to the roof of their habitation, 
is by no means favourable for such an operation. Therefore 
it must be altered. The bat, accordingly, first sets one of 
its paws at liberty, and strikes the vault with it repeatedly. 
Its body put in motion by this means oscillates, and is 
balanced on the five nails of the other foot, which form, by 
their equality and parallelism a right line, like the axis of a 
pair of hinges. When the bat has arrived at the highest 
point of the curve which it is describing, it extends its arm 
and seeks a resting point on which to fasten the nail which 
terminates it, namely, that of the thumb of the anterior ex- 
tremity. It is sometimes the body of a neighbouring bat 
which serves for this purpose, a side wall, or some other 
solid object. Having thus fixed the nail, the animal has 
attained its end. It is placed in a horizontal position, 
which is the one most suitable for its purpose. 

With respect to the organs of digestion in the cheiropte- 
rous tribes, we here discover, in a remarkable manner, the 
ascendant exercised by that type, from which the bats are 
an obvious deduction. All the traits of the quadrumana 
are reproduced, and what is more singular, with certain 
slight modifications, all of which have a close relation with 
certain trifling changes in the termination of the wing. 


This is sufficient to prove the prodigious dominating influ- 
ence of this organ over the general structure of the animal. 
The majority of the bats live on insects. Their stomach 
is simple without thread or complication. The intestinal 
canal is short and of a diameter pretty equal throughout, 
and the caecum is entirely wanting. The teeth correspond 
with this arrangement. The incisives are lobular, the ca- 
nines long and sharp, and the molars bristling with points. 
Some bats (the Roussettes), which live principally on fruits, 
vary a little in the conformation of the teeth and intestines, 
and are also characterized by a lesser prolongation of the 
dermis : accordingly, it is with some difficulty that we con- 
cede to them the name of bats at all. 

The sharp teeth of most of them are the only weapons 
with which nature has provided them to attack, seize, and 
lacerate those insects which form their subsistence. For, 
catching them in their flight, they possess one facility 
which has not been very generally remarked. This consists 
in the largeness of their mouths. 

The opening of the lips in the mammiferous animals in 
general does not extend beyond the canine teeth. We would 
be almost inclined to assert that the upper lip followed the 
lot of the intermaxiliaries ; that it was subordinate to them, 
and formed as it were their natural covering. In fact, the 
mouth is never large, and deeply cut, except in those 
animals which possess very long intermaxiliaries ; and on the 
other hand, is always extremely narrow where these bones 
are small. To this rule, however, the bats, at least those 
of them which are insectivorous, form a remarkable, and, 
we believe, a solitary exception. The commissure of their 
lips is prolonged considerably behind and corresponds with 
the last molar but one. Their cheek-pouches may be re- 
garded as the cause of this anomaly. The cheeks, which 
are rendered flabby by these appendages, unfold and extend 
with the lips, and the lower jaw is thus capable of being so 


far separated from the upper as to form with it a right 

The bats resemble the smaller insectivorous mammalia 
in their gloomy habits, their nocturnal life, the susceptibi- 
lity of the sensitive organs, which forces them to avoid light 
and noise, and the very small degree of their specific heat. 
They pass the winter, or more properly speaking, a consi- 
derable portion of the year in a state of lethargy. Exqui- 
sitely sensible to the slightest impressions of cold and hu- 
midity, they rarely sally from their retreats excepting in the 
fine evenings of summer. Then they enjoy a full portion of 
activity, and excited to a very high degree, they are attentive 
to nothing. Occupied by the chase with immeasurable 
ardour, they themselves in turn become an easy prey to the 
rapacious birds of night, or fall into the snares which 
have been laid for them. They are taken with nets, or with 
a line, for they strike with avidity against every object 
which hovers in the air around them. 

The bats being thus derived from the quadrumanous 
type, and presenting besides numerous relations with the 
small insectivorous carnassiers, might perhaps be considered 
as an order possessing fixed limits and altogether distinct 
within itself. 

It may not prove uninteresting, previously to noticing the 
most important of the cheiropterous sub-genera, to give a 
brief sketch of the sentiments of the principal systematic 
writers on these animals. We shall thus see how far they 
were able to execute a just classification, by means of the 
zoological characters then in use. 

Belon was the first who gave a figure of a bat, namely, the 
great-eared bat, or oreillard. Aldrovandus reproduced 
this figure, and added a second of the largest European 
species. Belon had moreover marked a third species 
which he saw in Egypt. In the course of a little time it 
was ascertained by the descriptions of travellers and the 
Vol. II. H 


iconographes of naturalists, that every country possessed in 
some sort, bats peculiar to itself. Although this, perhaps* 
at first, was not distinctly asserted, it was certainly the re- 
sult of the publications of Clusius,Pison,Bontius,Flaccourt, 
Seba, and Edwards. 

These materials were possessed from the year 1748, r though 
still it was believed that there were but five species of bats. 
The catalogue of Linnaeus does not include a greater number. 
But, at all events, there was no dispute respecting the bats 
being a distinct family. This was a point indeed which 
might have been considered as almost instinctively esta- 
blished previously to the invention of all zoological systems. 

Brisson, in 1756, adopted some new views on this subject. 
He had ranged winged quadrupeds according to the nume- 
rical order of the incisive teeth. He perceived that accord- 
ing to this principle of arrangement, the bats branched out 
into two series, and therefore considered himself obliged to 
divide them into two genera, to which he gave the names of 
Pteropus and Vespertilio. So little regard was paid at that 
time to the natural affinities of animals that no one was sur- 
prised to see these two groups separated from each other, 
and the interval filled by beings that had no relation to the 
bats whatever. 

While things were in this state, Daubenton began his re- 
searches upon animals for his comparative anatomy. He 
soon found in France four of the bat family, which had not 
been before observed. This discovery occasioned him to re- 
view the labours of his predecessors on the mammalia, and 
to put forth a monography on the subject. This work, 
especially valuable at the epoch of its publication, was 
printed in the collection of the Academy of Sciences, in 
1759. The monography of this celebrated naturalist was 
also enriched by many foreign species found at Paris in the 
public collections, and by others, then lately brought by 
Adanson from Senegal. 


From this period, the family of the bats was established 
on solid foundations. A guide was procured, which was 
appreciated and followed. Linnaeus gave the first example 
of its good effects in withdrawing from his genus Vespertilio, 
the hare-lipped bat, and making it, in the twelfth edition 
of the Sy sterna Natures, the genus Noctilio of his glires. 

The employment of the incisive teeth had hitherto done 
so well for the establishment of genera, that it was natural 
to set some value on the character. Great then was the 
astonishment of naturalists to learn, first from Brisson, 
then from Daubenton, that the bats differed among them- 
selves in this very important respect. 

The number of these animals, as yet known, was not 
considerable, nor had sufficient attention been bestowed 
on the affinities of the animal world. Naturalists continued, 
after the example of Daubenton, to comprise all the bats, 
with which they were acquainted, within a single genus ; 
and, by way of apology for so doing, they affected to insist 
on the discordance of their generic characters, alleging 
that the anomalies of these animals were utterly inex- 
plicable and irreconcilable with all the principles of syste- 
matic arrangement. 

Erxleben alone renewed the division of Brisson, of 
Pteropus and Vespertilio, and in his mode of doing it ex- 
hibited but little judgment— for he destroyed the essential 
character of the genus Vespertilio by defining it like Bris- 
son, and yet placing in it the new species of bats discovered 
by Daubenton, to which the definition of Brisson could by 
no means apply. 

Subsequent naturalists did nothing but copy their prede- 
cessors and each other. They adhered to the plan of a 
single genus, and seem to have imagined that they fully 
satisfied the increasing demands of science by an enumera- 
tion of the incisive teeth of each species. 

The naturalist to whom we are most indebted for the 

H 2 


most precise and scientific notions concerning these ani- 
mals, is unquestionably M. Geoffroy St. Hilaire. The cha- 
racter of the incisive teeth, and its modifications, had ori- 
ginated the modes of division to which we have alluded. 
This acute observer soon perceived that one circumstance 
connected with these teeth, the fact of their being most fre- 
quently indented or crenulated, had proved a source of error 
even to the most expert zoologists. Pallas, for instance, 
reckoned eight incisors in the lower jaw of the vesp. pictus, 
instead of six, the real number ; and Daubenton had not re- 
marked as many in the upper jaw of the ferrum equinum. 

Another fact respecting these was calculated to mislead 
observers. This is, that being smaller than their alveoli 
or beds, they are easily detached from thence, and are 
found wanting in some individuals. 

These teeth are also considerably dependant on the or- 
gans in their vicinity. In other animals, there is usually 
but one modification or condition for those organs, which 
are situated near the incisive teeth. They are generally 
contained within fixed limits, and do not interfere with the 
development of the intermaxillary bone, which itself sup- 
plies the incisors with a suitable basis and degree of soli- 
dity. This arrangement being unaffected by any thing im- 
mediate, the incisors grow in their proper beds, according 
to the action exercised upon them by the constituent ele- 
ments of the whole being. Accordingly, as they are in- 
fluenced by causes, disseminated as it were through the en- 
tire system of organization, they may be employed to indi- 
cate these causes in a general way, and consequently will 
form a most excellent generic character. 

But the contrary to all this takes place in the Cheiroptera. 
Their organs of sense are complicated in consequence 
of the tendency of the dermis to acquire such considerable 

The organ of smelling, among others, is very frequently 


obstructed and filled by certain kinds of pipes and tunnels. 
But as an extraordinary degree of development rarely occurs 
in one place, without becoming an impediment elsewhere, so 
we find that this development of the fossse nasales is in- 
fluential on the intermaxillary bone. The latter becomes 
smaller in proportion to the extension and prolongation of 
the former. It is sometimes so considerably diminished as 
to become little more than a bony point which goes off 
and is lost in the dermis: sometimes, indeed, it is alto- 
gether wanting. 

The incisors which necessarily follow all the conditions 
of this organ, which become small as it lessens, and dis- 
appear when it is gone, are, in the bats, thus crossed in 
their development by a specific influence. They are no 
longer obedient to the controlling power of the general or- 
ganization, and are no longer to be received as a test of its 
constitution. They vary, on the contrary, according to the 
intensity of the local action which presses them, and be- 
come a character of less value than where the natural pro- 
gress of their growth is unimpeded. 

But though they yield in importance to the organs of 
sense in their vicinity, they become, under a new aspect, 
an object worthy of consideration. They serve as a medium 
for appreciating the different modifications of these organs, 
and, in conjunction with them, to establish the characters 
for some particular groups and subgenera ; — and, as these 
different modifications are also simultaneous with others, 
which affect either the organs of digestion, the wings, the 
tail, or the interfemoral membrane, it follows that we have 
a certain portion of characters sufficiently elevated to ar- 
range the bats in divisions strongly marked, and to dispose 
them in small natural families or groups. 

M. Geoffroy has divided the bats into fifteen of these 
groups, other naturalists have added more, and the number 
seems likely to be augmented, as observation is extended in 


different parts of the world in regard to these very curious 
animals. We scarcely need add, that these several groups 
are termed by Geoffroy, and their other inventors, genera, 
though in the present work they are more simply treated as 
subdivisions or subgenera of the single genus cheiroptera or 
bat. For the names and characters of these, as well as for 
the specific descriptions, we refer to the table. 

We shall first speak of the Roussettes (Pteropus.) 

This division of the Cheiroptera, until the time in which 
M. Geoffroy made his communications to the Ann. du Mus. 
(1810), was not considered as composed of many species. It 
was singular enough that the various observations of Seba, 
of Clusius, of Brisson, of Edwards, and of Buffon, respecting 
the Roussettes, should have been all attributed to the same 
animal, which was distinguished by a single specific name, 
viz., the Vespertilio Vampyrus. 

The researches of naturalists in Egypt, in Bengal, at 
Timor, and Java, very considerably augmented this little 
family ; and by affording the means of comparison with such 
as were already known, and had been taken but for simple 
varieties of age and sex, proved that a number of these ani- 
mals existed, sufficiently resembling to constitute species of 
one genus, and sufficiently distinct to constitute separate 

The roussettes are easily distinguished by their gait, their 
long and conical head, their slender and pointed muzzle, 
their small and simple ears, and, lastly, by the smallness of 
the interfemoral membrane. They have little or no tail '•> 
the posterior extremities are simply bordered, but not 
united by the interfemoral membrane, and the membrane 
of the wings extended on the upper part of the legs, and 
passing the metatarsus above, touches on the origin of the 
fourth toe. They are the only bats which have the second 


'■/-■ auritius. 

VmJmfiibltsfadiyG.&W:, v ., i 

' ' ..' 


finger 6f the hand provided with a nail, and with the pha- 
lanx belonging to it, and the only ones which are deprived 
of the second external ear, or at least of that part of the ear 
which is formed by the replication and excessive develop- 
ment of the tragus. Their tongue is rough and papillous, 
and their teeth, in form and number, resemble those of the 
simiae. One peculiarity in these teeth must not be over- 
looked ; the smallness of the first and last molar, prevents 
their being of any great utility in mastication, but the other 
molars supply this defect by being considerably larger. They 
have, upon the whole, a form which is not found in any 
other animal ; their coronals are not bristling with tuber- 
cles ; they present a long and straight surface, the plane of 
which is oblique, and detrition exercises its action more on 
the centre than on the edges, which project in sensible 
ridges. The inspection of these molars would be sufficient, 
(had not observation already established the fact,) to prove 
that the habits and dietetic regimen of the roussettes are 
different from those of the bats of our climates. 

Their osteological characters are much the same as those 
of our bats, except that their shoulder-blade is more trian- 
gular than square; the cubitus, almost effaced in the other 
bats, is more apparent and more disengaged from the ra- 
dius, which it accompanies for about two-thirds of its 
length. The sternum forms a very strong projection, and 
the first sternal piece, more large, more robust, and more 
deeply separated in front, reminds us of the form and uses 
of the furca in birds. 

The second finger of the wing is half-turned from within 
outwards, an effect perhaps of the development of the mem- 
brane during flight. It is a little less so, in the metacarpian 
phalanx, more in the penultima, and still more in the un- 
guiculated phalanx. The consequence is, that the nail, at- 
tached to the extremity of this last phalanx, is in a situation 
exactly opposed to the plane or direction of the wing. This 


second finger, too, though it wants no phalanx, is yet shorter 
than the corresponding finger in the other bats, though 
they want the little bone to which the nail is affixed. Finally? 
it is necessary to remark that the roussettes are destitute o^ 
the leaves or membranes which surround the nose in some 
other families of this order. 

It would not be easy to find a group of animals more 
completely circumscribed, and more perfectly isolated among 
its congeners than the roussettes. But the advantage re- 
sulting from this is counterbalanced by some inconveniences. 
The difficulty of studying the species becomes more en- 
hanced, as the characters which we are reduced to em- 
ploy for that purpose, must of necessity be of an inferior 
order, and somewhat arbitrary. 

These bats, however, possess one very distinctive mark, 
of which the eminent naturalist above-mentioned has 
availed himself for their classification. The larger rous- 
settes have no tail, and the others have a small one. Di- 
viding them on this principle, M. GeofFroy has made eleven 
species of the roussettes, five larger, with tails, six smaller, 
without. We proceed to notice whatever is interesting in 
these, without troubling the reader in this place by their 

The Pteropus Edulis, or eatable roussette, or Kalou, is a 
species discovered by M. M. Peron and Lesueur, in their 
voyage to Australasia, at the island of Timor. It received its 
name from these learned travellers, because its flesh, which 
is white, delicate, and remarkably tender, is regarded by 
these islanders as no small delicacy. The inhabitants of 
Timor confound it with all the other species of Cheiroptera, 
under the name of Malanou Bourou, (bird of night). The 
Malays call it Kalou. It measures more than five feet from 
the extremity of one wing to that of another, and is about 
a foot in length, from the point of the muzzle to the end of 
the crupper. The iris is very brown, and the nails of the 


toes are long and remarkably sharp. The muzzle resembles 
that of a dog, with the end of its nose cut in two. The skin 
is rough. From the occiput to the shoulders it is reddish, 
and in all the other parts black, mixed with some white 

" The Pteropus javanicus," says Dr. Horsfield, in his 
elegant zoological researches, " is the largest species of the 
genus hitherto discovered : in adult subjects, the extent of 
the expanded wings is full five feet, and the length of the 
body one foot. In the specimen which I have placed before me 
in this description, the extent of the wings was five feet 
and two inches. The length of the arm and forearm to- 
gether, from the union with the body to the origin of the 
phalanges, is fourteen inches ; the latter are distributed as 
in other species of pteropus. The naked thumb project- 
ing beyond the membrane, measures two inches ; and the 
claw, which is strong and sharp, has an extent of nearly one 
inch along its curvature. On the index the claw is minute, 
and by the particular inflexion of the phalanges, which 
was first pointed out by M. Geoffroy, it obtains a direction 
opposed to the plane of the membrane. The length of the 
posterior extremities is eight inches and an half. The toes, 
which are slender, compressed, and distinct, agree in size, 
with the exception of the exterior toe, which is almost im- 
perceptibly smaller ; they are disposed on the same plane. 
The claws have nearly the same size and extent of curva- 
ture as the claw of the thumb. The interfemoral mem- 
brane is regularly cut out in a circular manner, and forms 
a border along the inner side of the posterior extremities, 
about an inch and a half in breadth. 

" The pteropus javanicus is extremely abundant in the 
lower parts of Java, and uniformly lives in society. The 
more elevated districts are not visited by it. Numerous 
individuals select a large tree for their resort, and suspending 


themselves with the claws of their posterior extremities to 
the naked branches, often in companies of several hundreds, 
afford to a stranger a very singular spectacle. A species of 
ficus, in habit resembling the ficus religiosa of India, which 
is often found near the villages of the natives, affords them 
a very favourite retreat, and the extended branches of one of 
these are sometimes covered by them. They pass the greater 
portion of the day in sleep, hanging motionless : ranged in 
succession, with the head downwards, the membrane con- 
tracted about the body, and often in close contact, they 
have little resemblance to living beings, and by a person 
not accustomed to their economy, are readily mistaken for 
a part of the tree, or for a fruit of uncommon size suspended 
from its branches. In general these societies preserve a pre- 
fect silence during the day ; but if they are disturbed, or 
if a contention arises among them, they emit sharp piercing 
shrieks, and their awkward attempts to extricate them- 
selves, when oppressed by the light of the sun, exhibit a 
ludicrous spectacle. In consequence of the sharpness of 
their claws, their attachment is so strong, that they cannot 
readily leave their hold, without the assistance of the ex- 
panded membrane ; and if suddenly killed in the natural 
attitude during the day, they continue suspended after 
death. It is necessary therefore to oblige them to take 
wing by alarming them, if it be desired to obtain them 
during the day. Soon after sunset they gradually quit their 
hold, and pursue their nocturnal flights in quest of food. 
They direct their course, by an unerring instinct, to the 
forests, villages, and plantations, occasioning incalculable 
mischief, attacking and devouring indiscriminately every 
kind of fruit, from the abundant and useful cacao-nut, 
which surrounds every dwelling of the meanest peasantry, 
to the rare and most delicate productions, which are culti- 
vated with care by princes and chiefs of distinction. By the 


latter, as well as by the European colonists, various methods 
are employed to protect the orchards and gardens. Deli- 
cate fruits, such as mangos, jambus, lansas, fyc, as they 
approach to maturity, are ingeniously secured by means of 
a loose net or basket, skilfully constructed of split bamboo. 
Without this precaution, little valuable fruit would escape 
the ravages of the kalong. 

" There are few situations in the lower parts of Java, in 
which this night wanderer is not constantly observed ; as 
soon as the light of the sun has retired, one animal is seen 
to follow the other at a small but irregular distance, and this 
succession continues uninterrupted till darkness obstructs 
the view. The flight of the kalong is slow and steady, 
pursued in a straight line, and capable of long continuance. 
The chase of the kalong forms occasionally an amusement 
to the colonists and inhabitants, during the moonlight 
nights, which in the latitude of Java are uncommonly se- 
rene. He is watched in his descent to the fruit trees, and 
a discharge of small shot readily brings him to the ground. 
By this means I frequently obtained four or five individuals 
in the course of an hour ; and by my observations I am led 
to believe, that there are two varieties which belong to one 
species, as they appear all to live in one society, and are ob- 
tained promiscuously." 

One observation we shall make here is, that all the spe- 
cies of one genus are found to inhabit the same region, to 
the exclusion of another, and particularly the torrid zone 
of a Continent. This is particularly applicable to the sub- 
genus Pteropus, none of the species of which have yet been 
discovered out of the warm climates of the old world. 

The Roussette of Edwards, or Madagascar bat, the com- 
mon roussette, Vespertilio ingens of Clusius,) and the red- 
necked roussette, (Rougette of Buffon,) and confounded by 
Linnaeus and Gmelin under the synonyme of Vespertilio 


Vampyrus. Brisson composed his genus Pteropus ot the 
two last, and a third, the Vespertilio Spectrum, which, in 
truth, does not belong to this genus, but to the Phyllos- 

The Pteropus griseus gray roussette is another of the 
species discovered by Messrs. Peron and Lesueur. It is re- 
markable for nothing so much as the shortness of its ears. 
The membrane of the wings does not grow precisely from 
the flanks, but takes its origin almost from the central line 
of the back. 

All the roussettes of Timor inhabit the trunks of old 
trees, or the hollows of rocks. The large species alone in- 
habits caverns, and usually the deepest and most obscure. 
In speaking of the Pteropus stramineus, (lesser Temate bat 
of Pennant,) M. Geoffroy deems it possible that the circum- 
stance of the roussettes of Timor living so much in trees 
may impede the perfect growth of their hair. 

The roussette of Egypt was discovered by M. Geoffroy 
himself, who detached many of them with his own hand 
from the ceiling of the great Pyramid. There is nothing 
very remarkable about them, but that the head is shorter in 
proportion, and larger than in the other species. Its hair 
is thick and soft, of a grayish-brown, and its incisors are 
remarkably small, slender, and symmetrically arranged. 

The Pteropus amplexicandatus is distinguished above the 
others by the dimensions of its tail, which yet does not ex- 
ceed the thigh in length. The interfemoral membrane is 
not so much sloped as in the preceding species, but extends 
from one side to the other, so as to pass above the tail, and 
cover one-half of it — whence the name. 

The Kiodote Pteropus minimus of Geoffroy, has been 
formed into a separate genus by F. Cuvier, under the name 
of Macroglosse. Besides the form of its head, which gives 
it a strong mark of distinction above the other frugivorous 


Cheiroptera, it is separated from them still farther by 
very important modifications in its system of dentition. 
The kiodote, like the other roussettes, has four incisors 
and two canines in each jaw ; but it has none of the anoma- 
lous false molars, neither are its hinder molars small and 
rudimentary, but as large and as fully developed as the 
others. These molars are ten in number, in the upper 
jaw, five on each side, and the two first are pointed. There 
are twelve in the lower jaw, six on each side. The first, 
almost at the basis of the canine, is separated by rather a 
wide interval from the second, and the three anterior ones 
are pointed. The others, in the two jaws, are plain and 
even, and very long, in comparison with their bulk. It 
may also be remarked, that the teeth of the kiodote are 
the smallest that we are acquainted with, as yet, in the 
class mammalia, though there are many smaller species to 
be found in that class than the kiodote. 

The Roussettes, and still more the Cephalotes, have a 
large and thick muzzle, which indicates powerful jaws, and 
the faculty of biting with force. The kiodote, on the con- 
trary, by its large head, and very slender muzzle, which 
narrows off" suddenly from the eyes announces, what is 
really the fact, very weak jaws, incapable of acting with 
any degree of force. The resemblance, in this respect, sub- 
sisting between the kiodote and some of the edentata, with 
long muzzles, which live on ants, <5fc, would lead us to sup- 
pose that these small teeth must be of little use, unfit to 
encounter any substance that offered much resistance, and 
incapable of any great effort at mastication. 

This animal, according to M. Leschenault de la Tour, 
has a tongue two inches (French measure) in length, which is 
double the length of the head, and which it can thrust com- 
pletely out of its mouth, and draw back again, like the 
pangolin (Manis pentadactyla, L.). This organ is not covered 
with rough papillae, like the tongue of the roussettes, and is 


by no means calculated to act on bodies by friction. This 
learned traveller, to be sure, adds, that the kiodote lives on 
fruits. It is very certain, however, that its habits and 
mode of subsistence are very little known. 

Its length is above two inches from the occiput to the 
posteriors ; its head about one inch, and it is ten inches 
from the extremity of one wing; to that of another. It 
is the smallest species known of the roussette family, if 
indeed it belongs to them. 

The details of its organization are but brief. Its limbs 
are like those of the roussettes ; the finger, corresponding 
with the index, has a nail, and the tail is but a mere rudi- 
ment. Its eyes are large, projecting, and have round pu- 
pils. The muzzle, at its termination, is divided by a sort 
of furrow, and the nostrils, circular and projecting, open on 
its sides. The external ear is simple, and is marked trans- 
versely by wrinkles, which result from the manner in which 
it is folded up, when closed. The membrane of the wings 
is entirely naked, except that part which forms a posterior 
border for the hinder limbs. All the rest of the body is 
covered with a fur, extremely fine and soft, tolerably thick, 
not so long upon the head as elsewhere, and apparently of 
a woolly character. On the head, neck, shoulders, arms, 
back, crupper, interfemoral membrane, and thighs, it is of 
a beautiful, uniform, fawn-colour; elsewhere, it has a 
slight brown tint ; the iris is yellow. The cry is very 

According to M. Leschenault, kiodote is the Javanese 
name of this bat, but Horsefield says, that the natives call 
it Lorvo-assee, dog-bat. He has given it the scientific ap- 
pellation of rostratus. It is not very common in Java, and 
is very destructive to the fruit. 

The most remarkable of all these species seems to be the 
mantled roussette (pteropuspatiatus). The membrane of 
the wings grows from the central line of the back. The 


head is large and rounded, approaching to the form of an 
ellipsis. The muzzle short and thick. The individual 
noticed by M. Geoffroy was but young, and of course not 
completely developed. Its teeth were not entirely formed ; 
the canines had but just appeared, and scarcely exceeded 
the molars. Its incisive teeth were very distinct, four in 
number in each jaw. The upper ones equal, and at a small 
distance from each other, the lower smaller and closer. 
The intermediate incisors were finer than the lateral. 

But to pass over minor peculiarities, there were two very 
remarkable characters in this species, which occasioned its 
describer to conjecture that it might one day be withdrawn 
from the roussettes, and elevated to the rank of a genus. 
These were, — 1. The absence of a nail on the index finger, 
which is, however, as short as that of the other roussettes, 
and equally provided with all its phalanges. 2. The inser- 
tion of the wings, the membranes of which adhere together. 

Nothing can be more singular than such an organization. 
In the other bats, the membrane extended between the fin- 
gers of the hand grows from the sides, being formed by a 
prolongation of the skin, which grows more slender in 
proportion to its extension. But in this roussette, the same 
membrane actually grows from the central line of the back, 
where the skin forms a slight projection before it is ex- 
tended horizontally and to the extremities. It has exactly 
the appearance of a mantle thrown over the shoulders of 
the animal, and gave occasion to M. Geoffroy to give it the 
appellation of paliatus. 

An arrangement of this kind must have for its final 
cause the advantage and comfort of the animal in which it 
occurs. The Deity does nothing in vain, nothing without 
a benevolent purpose. Accordingly, we find that this dis- 
position of the skin, first, by increase of surface, renders 
the body of this bat specifically lighter, and assists it in its 
flight ; and secondly, that when the wing is folded, it forms 


an ample and profound pouch, which constitutes a conve- 
nient envelope for the young bats which are yet suckling, 
and a place of shelter where they find all the protection 
and all the heat necessary for their security and develop- 

We shall next speak of the Cephalotes, two species, 
one described by Pallas, and another discovered by M. 
Peron, which have a close affinity with the roussettes, but 
yet differ sufficiently to constitute a separate sub-genus. 
They have the conical head, the sharp muzzle, the ears with- 
out tragers, the short index provided with all its phalanges, 
the shortness and particular position of the interfemoral 
membrane, the small tail, the papillous tongue, and the 
remarkable form of the molar teeth peculiar to the rous- 
settes. But they differ in other points. Their head is 
shorter and larger than that of the others, and the face still 
more than the cranium. The latter retreats more and is 
narrower in front. The teeth are but twenty-eight, four 
incisors, four canines, and twenty molars, eight of which 
are in the upper jaw and twelve in the lower. Thus the 
incisives are but half as many as in the roussettes, nor is 
this occasioned by too close an approximation or too ex- 
cessive a development of the canine teeth. The upper 
incisors are at a certain distance between them, and per- 
fectly isolated, which, however is not the case with the 

Such an anomaly in a character of this importance cannot 
exist alone. Those who are most superficially acquainted 
with the laws of Zoology, are aware that such a modifica- 
tion produces others. This is the consequence of what our 
author has termed the subordination of characters. Every 
thing in the organization of an animal is connected, and 
without knowing why or wherefore, we always find a cor- 
relation to exist, even where it is impossible to perceive 
any necessary connexion. 


But in truth this want of two incisors can be considered 
as no anomaly, but when we class the two species in ques- 
tion with the roussettes. For, in pursuing the examina- 
tion of their characters, we shall soon establish in all 
their principal organs other analogous differences, which 
must oblige us to refer them to a distinct and particular 
type. We shall thus avoid deranging a genus so accurately 
limited as that of the roussettes. 

The molar teeth of the cephalotes, though closely resem- 
bling those of the roussettes, are not, however, of an iden- 
tical form with them. The upper jaw has two less, viz., 
the small anterior molars before mentioned. The last but 
one is also proportionally longer. Finally, those of the 
lower jaw are straiter, and the first is so small that it is 
covered by the gum and scarcely perceptible. The effect 
of detrition on their coronals is also remarkable in these 
teeth. In the roussettes the bony substance is more worn 
than the enamel, but in the cephalotes both are equally so. 
The surface of these teeth, and especially that of the back 
molars is altogether plane. This is characteristic of herbi- 
vorous animals alone. Must we conclude from this that 
the cephalotes do not use exactly the same regimen as the 
roussettes ; that they do not even eat the sweeter kind of 
fruits but content themselves with a simpler kind of vege- 
table nutriment ? 

The organs of motion in the cephalotes exhibit a propor- 
tional difference, as in the parts just described. The wings 
are conformed as in the mantled roussette. The common 
teguments, as in that very singular species, are elevated on 
the central line of the back, and from those a lamina which 
becomes the point of departure for the membranes, which are 
elongated over the arms, and extended between the fingers. 

Pallas gives us nothing similar in his description of the 
vespertilio cephalotes. But an arrangement so strange and 
novel might well have escaped him. At least we may be 

Vol. IT. I 


led to suppose so, from a certain tendency to systematic 
prejudices that exists in the minds of the greatest philoso- 
phers. It is by no means uncommon for the corporeal eye 
to see nothing but what has been perceived in anticipation 
by the intellectual organ. 

Such are the differences upon which the distinction be- 
tween the cephalotes and the roussettes has been founded. 
Had it not been for the mantled roussette, the limits of the 
two genera would have been still more strongly marked, 
and the interval between them still wider. The mantled 
roussette may be considered as a link uniting and attaching 
together these two little tribes. 

We have remarked that these animals have four incisive 
teeth in each jaw. M. Geoffroy asks, whether it be pos- 
sible that the renewal or growth of certain teeth might oc- 
casion the disappearance of others ? The falling out of the 
incisive teeth, in the bats in general, is a case of common 
occurrence. But this is a matter easy of observation, and 
the progressive steps of which are obvious. These teeth, 
fixed in a bed of no great depth, are but feebly retained by 
the gums. As ossification advances, the alveolar cavity is 
filled with more promptitude than in other animals, and it 
is not astonishing that the incisives, under such circum- 
stances, should be shaken and speedily disappear. But 
this produces no influence or re-action on the canine teeth. 
These being more deeply lodged in the maxillary bone, 
preserve their position, and experience no other variation 
than a slight degree of wear, in consequence of their mu- 
tual friction. 

This being understood, it is easy to decide the question 
as it regards the cephalotes. If the incisives fell from age 
or accident, their places would be easily found. But in the 
cephalotes there is no place which the incisors could pos- 
sibly have occupied beyond the two which we have men- 
tioned, The canine teeth, and the lower ones still more than 


the upper, are infinitely closer than in the roussettes. It is 
manifest, therefore, that the smaller number of teeth in the 
eephalotes is the result of natural condition, and not the 
effect of age. 

The characters which we use in the classification of ani- 
mals do not all possess an equal value, or rather the same 
characters do not possess the same value in the different 
subdivisions of the animal world. They acquire importance 
when they are observed to be permanent in certain natural 
groups of living beings ; but on the other hand, they lose 
it, and can only be employed in a secondary manner, when 
in other genera they are found to vary from one species to 

The application of these principles to the consideration 
of the skin of the bats, undoubtedly bestows a certain pre- 
eminence on the characters derived from the various modi- 
fications of the cutaneous system. This, however, constitutes 
little more than the knowledge attainable by the com- 
monest observers. A bat is recognised by the dimensions 
of its arms, the membrane of which proceeding from the 
sides forms one of the principal attributes of the ani- 
mal. No attention is paid in this case to the conformation 
of the other parts, to the state of the viscera, to the number 
and structure of the teeth, and finally to the habits of the 
being. The consideration of all these appeared superfluous, 
after the predominant character of the family had been 

The bats, however, were found to differ very materially 
from each other. As an example of this difference, we 
may mention two genera, in one of which the development 
of the cutaneous system is the least considerable, and the 
greatest in the other. The first are the frugivorous bats, 
which we have just noticed under the names of roussettes and 
eephalotes ; the second are those sanguinary cheiroptera. 


which are easily recognised by the surrounding membranes 
of the nose. 

The first may be considered as bats, upon the very slen- 
derest claims. The general tendency to augmentation in 
the cutaneous system is carried on by them only in the 
wings. No other part is similarly developed. There is no 
volume in the tragus forming a second ear, no'tunnels about 
the nostrils, no interfemoral membrane. There are but 
some trifling vestiges of the latter, extending along the in- 
ternal edges of the legs. 

It is far otherwise, however, with those bats which de- 
stroyed the first establishments of the Europeans in the New 
World. They are buried as it were, and lost amid the mul- 
tiplied foldings of their integuments. Their ears are simple 
and double, and their nostrils surrounded with leaves and 
bordered with semicircular crests. Their interfemoral 
membrane occupies the entire space comprehended between 
their legs, which are themselves of very remarkable dimen- 
sions. This augmentation is visible also in the membrane 
of the wings, the size of which is considerably increased by 
an additional phalanx on the third finger. The body of the 
animal itself is scarcely to be distinguished amidst all this 
integumentary profusion. Their appearance is thus ren- 
dered more gloomy, and their physiognomy more ferocious. 
There is something vague and indefinite about their forms, 
which aggravates the horror which the remembrance of their 
devastations has inspired. 

What is most remarkable in these two examples, and 
altogether conformable to the physiological views here taken 
generally, is the curious correlation of all the tegumentary 
parts with one another, their conduciveness to the same re- 
sult, their great influence, and above all, the permanence of 
their forms in the generic groups where they are observed. 
The teeth are by no means so fixed a character. They vary 


for instance, in the Roussettes and Cephalotes, where the 
integumentary distinctions are comparatively trivial. 

The bats which have the nose surrounded by membranes, 
are divided into three sub-genera, the Rhinolphi, the Phyl- 
lostomata, and the Megadermes. 

The Rhinolphi have the nasal leaf exceedingly compli- 
cated, the tail long, the intermaxillary bone small, and pro- 
vided with two teeth only, and (a remarkable character 
which they share with the Roussettes and Cephalotes) the 
ears simple and without any extra-devlopement of the 
tragus. They are the only insectivorous bats which are 
without this appendage. Some naturalists are of opinion 
that there is no such thing as any certain distinctions of 
genus, and that frequently nothing more is wanting than 
one or two species to bind by an indissoluble link, groups, 
between which the largest intervals have been supposed to 
exist. The genera of the bats are, however, by no means 
favourable to this opinion. In truth, it is remarkable that 
in every part of the globe where these animals are found, 
however distant from each other, their organization accu- 
rately corresponds with that of some one of the families 
already known to us. 

This limitation of genera, the consideration of the Rhi- 
nolphi alone will suffice to illustrate. As a sub-genus it is 
most strictly circumscribed, and its species are distinguished 
with unusual accuracy. 

The number of the mammae is one of the most remark- 
able characteristics of this sub-genus. Beside the two pec- 
toral in common with the other bats, the Rhinolphi have 
two others situated close to each other above the os pubis. 
This is a singular anomaly and holds throughout all the 

In consequence of the disposition of the ear above alluded 
to, the Rhinolphi betake themselves to the most profound 
excavations, and bury themselves to a considerable extent 


under ground. Deprived of the faculty of rendering them- 
selves deaf at pleasure, they fly to retreats where the noise 
and cries of diurnal animals cannot reach them. 

In compensation for this simplicity of form in the ear, 
the organ of smell, as we before observed, is singularly com- 
plicated. We find the entrance of the nasal cavities as 
favourably disposed in the Rhinolphi for the conveyance of 
odours as the ears are for that of sounds. They are formed 
by a sort of conch, as if the odorous emanations, in a mode 
analogous to the communication of sounds, were collected 
and directed into the olfactory chambers. 

We cannot consider this peculiar organization, common 
to the Rhinolphi, the Phyllostomata, and the Megadermes, 
as accidental. An arrangement so scrupulously accurate in 
all its details, must involve a fixed design, and mark a very 
distinct type. 

The nasal chambers do not extend in the Rhinolphi beyond 
the first molars. But they are inflated and globulous, and 
the entrance to the nostrils is both in front and underneath. 
It is a large opening, terminated by the intermaxillary bone, 
which is reduced to a simple lamina, and is obedient to the 
motion of the lips. 

These last, which are elevated by their swelling almost to 
the height of the forehead, leave a vacuum between them- 
selves and the nasal chambers, at the bottom of which, and 
as it were in a tunnel, are the two openings of the nostrils. 
A fold of skin protects and furnishes the circuit of this 
tunnel, and thus forms the conch of which we have spoken. 
This fold is extended in front of the nostrils like a horse- 
shoe (from which one species derives its name), and it is 
detached and elevated behind, like a leaf, differing in form 
according to the species. 

The thickness of the lips results from an aggregate of 
muscular fibres, which are glued, as it were, one over the 
other, and opposite in their direction. The occasional con- 


traction of this fleshy mass, draws along with it the inter, 
maxillary bone. 

The index finger has no phalanx ; the others have two, or 
three, if we reckon the small bone of the metacarpus. The 
tail is long and almost entirely comprehended in the inter- 
femoral membrane. 

One of the most remarkable species is the Purse Rhinolo- 
phus, (Rhinoliphus Speoros.) A most curious character is a 
sort of purse on the back of the leaf, situated on the fore- 
head, the internal sides of which are naked, and its entrance 
is distinguished by a sort of cushion, and opens by a 
sphincter. It is tolerably spacious, and we have no reason 
to believe that it leads any where. It is in general pretty 
exactly closed, and when the eyelids are down, it looks like 
the eye of a cyclops. This cavity has been found entirely 
empty, and it is not easy to conjecture its use. This bat is 
a native of Timor. 

The Phyllostomata do not belong to the same countries as 
the Rhinolphi, but, on the contrary, are exclusively confined 
to the warm regions of the New World. They differ from 
the Rhinolphi in all the preceding characters. We shall 
first notice their organs of sense, beginning with that of 
touch. Their wings have proportionally greater length, and 
owe it in part to an additional phalanx on the middle finger. 
This is the unguical phalanx, but instead of being terminated 
by a nail, it is terminated by a cartilage, which the tension 
of the membrane draws along, and causes to bend on the 
interior side. Similar cartilages are seen on the fourth and 
fifth fingers. The membrane which unites all the parts of 
the wing extends to the posterior extremities, sideways, and 
without passing the tarsus. The feet are, therefore, less 
engaged in it than among the roussettes and other bats. 

The interfemoral membrane furnishes no generic cha- 
racter. It differs in the different species ; so does the tail, 
which is found in some and wanting in others. 


All the phyllostomata have an indented tragus, or second 
ear, interior, and placed on the border of the auricular 
foramen. Another lobe is observed within the ear, not far 
from the opening. 

The nasal leaf, though not so complicated as that of the 
Rhinolphi, does not less merit the attention of the natura- 
list. Its seat is circumscribed by thick swellings, so that 
the nasal openings appear, as it were, at the bottom of a 
tunnel. The edges of this cavity are detached in a thin la- 
mina, the semi-curve of which, is- a good representation of 
an horse-shoe. It is from the middle of this curve that the 
leaf, properly so called, arises, consisting of a thick and 
elongated sort of cushion, the edges of which, are accom- 
panied by membranes. It is terminated in a point at its 
extremity, from which it has been compared, in some spe- 
cies, to a javelin. 

The movements of this apparatus are regulated by the 
muscles of the nostrils, and of the lips. The nostrils are 
hermetically sealed, when the leaf is lowered, and descends 
into the tunnel, and when the horse-shoe is raised. 

The tongue is remarkable ; its breadth to its length is as 
one to six ; it is flattish above, and rounded underneath ; in 
length and narrowness, like the tongue of the ant-eaters ; it 
also resembles them in the faculty of being completely thrust 
out ; its surface is slightly and regularly shagreened ; close 
to its extremity may be observed a kind of organ of suction ; 
it is a cavity, the centre of which is filled by a point in re- 
lievo, the circuit of which is marked by eight warts. 
The eyelids open and close sideways. 
In speaking of the teeth of the phyllostomata, we may 
observe, that though the teeth usually correspond with the 
digestive organs, as trenchant teeth agree best with such 
animals as have a simple stomach, and short intestinal 
canal, and large and flat teeth, with such as have large and 


ample intestines, yet this agreement does by no means ex- 
ist invariably. What is best, is not always found to be 
observed ; were it so, we should have only either animals 
altogether carnivorous, or altogether herbivorous. We 
know, on the contrary, that all the degrees comprised with- 
in these limits, are pretty nearly filled. An attentive ob- 
server will soon perceive that the abdominal viscera may un- 
dergo some variation without any corresponding change in 
the structure of the teeth, and these last, in their turn, may 
be modified, without any reciprocal alteration in the diges- 
tive organs. 

Besides, it is certain, that many different structures of 
teeth may produce the same effects ; and in this case, 
cceteris 'paribus, this diversity of form cannot, of itself, 
prove a sufficient ground of generic distinction. What is 
individual, should be transferred to specific characters. 

Of this the sub-genus, we are upon, is an excellent exam- 
ple. It is composed of species which perfectly resemble each 
other, except in the structure, arrangement, and number of 
the cheek teeth. These differences, (if we divest ourselves 
of deference for an imaginary theory, and stick to observa- 
tion,) we shall find to contain nothing essential. They by 
no means depend on causes inherent in the nature of the 
teeth, and simply relate to a change of proportion in the 
maxillary bones. We have phyllostomata with short muz- 
zles, and others with muzzles more elongated, but all make 
the same use of their teeth, whatever differences may exist 
between them. 

In comparing the crania of the Javelin bat, and the 
Vampire, we are struck by the difference of their propor- 
tions. That of the vampire is narrower and longer ; this 
contraction is peculiarly observable in the lower jaw, 
which does not, however, prevent the canines, which ter- 
minate that jaw, from being very thick at their roots. The 
incisives, whose growth is somewhat impeded by this 


development, do, however* exist, though very small, and 
crammed close together in front of the canines. Another 
peculiarity in the lower jaw is, that it exceeds the upper. 
There are four incisives in each. The molars of the vam- 
pire ten above and twelve below, are of the carnivorous 
character ; the first are very short, and almost plain ; the 
others are trenchant, and terminate in three or four points. 
Those below are compressed, and remarkable for one of 
the points which extends considerably beyond the rest ; 
the upper molars differ from each other in form and di- 
mensions ; the second are triangular, the last large, but 
have no great depth. 

The Javelin-bat resembles the Vampire, as to the teeth, 
merely in the disposition of the upper incisors ; the branches 
of the lower jaw being more separated, keep the canines 
at a certain distance, and thus leaving more space for the in- 
cisors, allow them to be ranged on a single line. 

The Javelin-bat has four molars less than the Vampire, 
that is -f & . The construction of its teeth altogether, more 
closely resembles that of the insectivora, while the teeth of 
the Vampire exhibits relations with those of the animals 
which feed on flesh. The occipital cavity is also stronger 
in the latter than in the Javelin-bat. 

In the smallest of the phyllostomata, (the Sorici?ium,) 
there are but three molars in each rank : twelve in all. 

All observers have agreed in attributing to the phyllos- 
tomata the faculty of sucking the blood both of men and 
animals. Pison has given us some very circumstantial de- 
tails on this subject. Similar accounts are also to be found 
in the narratives of Peter Martyr, of Father Jumilla, of the 
brothers Ulloa, and of M. de La Condamine, all which ac- 
counts are to be found in a French work, entitled Histoire 
Naturelle, (vol. xiii. p. 58,) where they are transcribed 
from the original text of these authors. M. Raume de 
St. Laurent, in the same work, confirms the veracity of 


these writers by his own testimony, and it has received 
further confirmation from the judicious remarks of an ob- 
server, equally distinguished by his accuracy and discrimi- 
nation, Don Felix d'Azzara, from whom we shall translate 
the following passage : 

" The species, with a leaf upon the nose, differ from the 
other bats in being able to turn, when on ths ground, 
nearly as fast as a rat, and in their fondness for sucking the 
blood of animals. Sometimes they will bite the crests and 
beards of the fowls while asleep, and suck the blood. The 
fowls generally die in consequence of this, as a gangrene is 
engendered in the wounds. They bite also horses, mules, 
asses, and horned-cattle, usually on the buttocks, shoulders, 
or neck, as they are better enabled to arrive at these parts 
from the facilities afforded them by the mane or tail. Nor 
is man himself secure from their attacks. On this point, 
indeed, I am enabled to give a very faithful testimony, 
since I have had the ends of my toes bitten by them, four 
times, while I was sleeping in cottages in the open country. 
The wounds which they inflicted, without my feeling them 
at the time, were circular, and rather elliptical ; their diameter 
was trifling, and their depth so superficial, as scarcely to pene- 
trate the cutis. It was easy,also, on examination, to perceive, 
that these wounds were made by suction, and not by puncture, 
as might be supposed. The blood that is drawn, in cases 
of this description, does not come from the veins, or from: 
the arteries, because the wound does not extend so far, but 
from the capillary vessels of the skin extracted thence, 
without doubt, by these bats, by the action of sucking or 
licking." Hist. Nat. du Paraguay, tome 2. p. 273. 

Buffon, in investigating the possibility of the Vampires 
sucking blood, without causing, at the same time, a pain of 
sufficient acuteness to awaken a sleeping person, concludes 
that the operation must be performed with the tongue ; and 
he adds, that we may form an idea of the modus operandi, 


by examining the tongue of a roussette, of which, with its 
hand, slender and sharp papillee, directed backwards, he 
gives a figure. The tongue of the phyllostomata is not formed 
in a similar model, as we have already remarked ; the con- 
jecture of Buffon, is not, however, the less well-founded. 
It is most certain, that a man who was sleeping ever so 
profoundly, and that animals, whose sleep is much more 
light than ours, must, unquestionably, be awakened, and that 
abruptly enough, by the pain of a bite inflicted with teeth. 
It is the tongue alone which can make apertures sufficiently 
subtile to open the extremities of the veins, without causing 
an acute sensation of pain. This conjecture becomes cer- 
tainty, when we discover a portion of the tongue, such as 
we have above described, exactly constituted as an organ 
of suction, and designed, in fact, for the performance of 
that identical function. 

It must not, however, be imagined that the phyllosto- 
mata are absolutely and exclusively nourished by the blood 
of animals. They have attained sufficient of a terrible ce- 
lebrity, by destroying, altogether, at Borja, and other 
places, the cattle which the missionaries had introduced, 
without adding to their evil reputation by any marvellous 
exaggerations. They all live on insects, in the manner of the 
other bats ; this fact has been proved, by opening the sto- 
machs of several of them ; d'Azzara declares that they 
would not venture to attack the cattle during the night, 
except when prompted by hunger, arising from the defi- 
ciency of other alimentary matter. 

All of these bats, whether the jaws be short or elongated, 
suck the blood of animals. Peter Martyr relates it of the 
phyllostomata, of the isthmus of Darien ; the two Ulloas, 
of those of Carthagena ; Raume, of the vampire of the 
isle of Trinity ; and Don Felix d'Azzara, of all the species 
which he discovered in Paraguay. Pison, previous to the 
time of these travellers, reported that this thirst of blood, 


was a necessity with this genus of the bats, and he was ac- 
quainted with two species. 

It is not true, however, that the wounds which they in- 
flict on men are so dangerous as Father Jumilla relates. It 
is impossible, indeed, to believe that the feeble effort 
which they make to draw a few drops of blood, could be 
attended with such pernicious consequences ; but the testi- 
mony of d'Azzara is positive on this head, and must set the 
question at rest. " No one," says he, " in our neighbour- 
hood, fears these animals, or gives himself any trouble 
about them ; notwithstanding a prevalent and most ab- 
surd report, that previously to sucking the blood of their 
victim, they flap their wings upon the part intended for 
banquet, for the purpose of lulling and deadening its sensi- 

Pison was the first who presented us with any researches 
on the phyllostomata, of which he gave a notice rather 
than a detailed description of two species, under the Bra- 
zilian names of andira and andira-guacu. He has spoken, 
however, at sufficient length to prove that the figure 
placed in front of his description belonged to no animal 
brought from Brazil. This figure represents a roussette, 
which the editors of Pison's book procured in some of the 
cabinets of Europe, and took for a vampire, in consequence 
of its size. 

Sloane appears to have found the andira again at Ja- 
maica, or the smallest of the two above-mentioned species. 

But these two species were not truly known until Seba 
gave figures of them, and Linnaeus described them, together 
with a third species, in his catalogue of animals, under the 
names of Vesp . spectrum, V. perspicillatus, and V. spasma. 
The only deficiency of these figures, which are all of the 
natural size, is that the interfemoral membrane has been 
represented of a square cut, and is destitute of the long 
osselets which support it. 


Edwards has since produced another figure in his history 
of birds of one of these phyllostomata, that of Jamaica. 
But it is much more incorrect than Seba's. 

Buffon, established the species of the javelin-bat, named 
since by Linnaeus, V. hastatus. First he had given this 
new phyllostoma as the V. ferspicillatus, or V. Americanus 
of Seba, but afterwards he reproduced it as a new species, 
under the title of the great javelin-bat, ( grand-fer- de-lance) , 
Hist. Nat., Supp., torn. 7, tab. 74. 

Pretty nearly about the same time, Pallas gave a com- 
plete history of the smallest species of this genus, which he 
compared in size to the shrew, and for this reason called 
it V. soricinus. 

These are all the phyllostomata of which mention has 
been made in systematic writers. Shaw's General Zoology, 
which appeared in 1800, contains no more species than 
that of Gmelin. 

Among the ten species of bats discovered by d'Azzara 
in Paraguay, four belong to this genus. His brown bat, 
however, and reddish-brown bat are not the vampire and 
javelin-bat, as he believed, but ought rather to be consi- 
dered as entirely new ; and also his brown-striped bat P 
M. Geoffroy makes nine species of the phyllostomata, for 
which we refer the reader to our table. 

The name vampyrus, which Linnaeus has given to the 
roussettes known in his time, was appropriated by Buffon 
to the phyllostoma spectrum, as he was assured the habits 
which authorized this appellation belonged exclusively to 
this species. 

Every thing leads us to believe that it is the same of 
which Pison has spoken under the name of andira-guacu. 
He has described it to be about the magnitude of a pigeon. 

Seba has given a figure not correct as to the interfemoral 
membrane. Schreiber afterwards gave a better figure, and 
added to its incorrectness. The slight stroke in Seba's 


figure meant to represent a tendon, has become under the 
graver of the German artist, a real tail. Schreiber after- 
wards gave a better and original figure of the vampire. 

The length of muzzle in the vampire, the size of its ears, 
and the smallness of the nasal leaf, compose altogether a 
very singular physiognomy. The membrane of the wings 
is prolonged along the entire edge of the metatarsus, and 
terminates at the origin of the first toes. The interfemoral 
fills all the space comprised between the legs. Its terminal 
edge forms a salient angle, which is the product of three 
lines equal between themselves, the two extremes corre- 
sponding with the osselets of the tarsus and the third with 
that part of the membrane which is deprived of support. 

The fur is soft to the touch, marron-colour above, and of 
a reddish yellow beneath. 

The phyllostoma perspicillatum, or lunette, (spectacle bat,) 
was called by Buffon grand fer-de-lance , for no other reason 
that we can discover but that it is invariably found to be 
smaller than his other fer-de-lance, (common javelin bat). 
He gives it as wanting the second ears or development of 
the tragus, and the figure in front of his description exhi- 
bits them very distinctly. In fine, he discovers that there 
are no incisive teeth in the upper jaw, and M. Geoffroy 
has reckoned four in all the subjects submitted to his exa- 
mination. Be it remembered, however, in reference to 
this last remark, with what facility all the bats lose their 
incisive teeth ; and more particularly the upper ones. 

In this species, the lips are bordered by a series of warts, 
and very strong nodosities are conspicuous on the articula- 
tions of the third and fourth finger. 

The interfemoral membrane forms a re-entering angle ; 
it is almost without support, in consequence of the small- 
ness of its osselets. The colour of the back is blackish- 
brown, and of the belly clear brown. 

Under this species, as a variety, is ranged the first bat of 


d'Azzara, or the obscure and striped bat. It is one third 
larger than the lunette, and of an obscure colour bordering 
on reddish. It resembles that species by having two white 
bands on the head. This, however, cannot be considered 
as a sufficient proof of identity of species, as the same cha- 
racter is found in another phyllostoma of Paraguay, very 
different from this. 

The musette, or phyllostoma soricinum, inhabits Surinam, 
and the adjacent isles : Pallas has published a very com- 
plete description of parts of its viscera, and skeleton. 
It is the smallest of all the known phyllostomata. The 
muzzle is tolerably long, but less narrow than that of 
the vampire. The canine teeth are, consequently, at a 
greater distance from each other, and the incisors are 
less incumbered, and are arranged upon a single line. The 
leaf is small , altogether at the extremity of the muzzle, in the 
form of a heart, (whence its English name, heart-nosed bat,) 
larger at the base, in the males, and terminated by rather 
a sharp point. The ears are small and oblong, and the in- 
terfemoral membrane forms a re-entering angle, and is 
supported by very short osselets. 

The tongue is very large, especially long, and channeled 
towards its extremity. The borders of the furrow, are 
furnished with papillae divided into two branches. This 
organ of suction, in the Javelin-bat, is circular. The dis- 
position in this species, is the same in its result, and there 
is no doubt that all the phyllostomata equally make use of 
these depressions of the tongue to open the extremity of 
the veins, and determine thither the flowing of the blood. 

Five other species have been added by M. Geoffroy, in 
the details of which, there is nothing very interesting for 
this part of our work : we shall, therefore, proceed now to 
the Megadermes. 

The phyllostomata possess relatives in the old conti- 
nent much nearer of kin than the Rhinolphi. Such is the 


family to which has been given the generic name of Me- 
gadermes. They are thus named, because in them the 
cutaneous system is carried to its full extent. When we 
devote ourselves to researches on the natural affinities of 
beings, we sometimes meet with continued series in orga- 
nization. The Megadermes form a true intermediate link, 
which unites the phyllostomata to the rhinolphi : but this 
link remains perfectly circumscribed. It is a group, on 
each side of which are intervals or hiatuses very strongly 
marked, and which is as completely separated from the 
phyllostomata as from the rhinolphi. 

The character which forms the common bond between 
these three families, is the singular apparatus in the form 
of conchs at the entrance of the nasal cavities : still it 
is very different in the three genera. In the phyllostomata 
it is simple; rather complicated in the megadermes ; and so 
much so in the rhinolphi that it is not very easy to form a 
precise notion of it from description. 

The Megadermes, which are provided with the additional 
ear, and are destitute of a tail, must not be confounded with 
the rhinolphi ; in this respect, they approximate more to the 
phyllostomata, though differing from them in other very 
essential points. Their tongue is short, and without any 
furrow, at least, at the extremity. It is without warts 
or papillae of any kind, and, consequently, not organized 
for the purposes of suction. Their lips, also, which are 
hairy and tuberculous, are not more adapted for the same 

In none of the bat tribe are the organs of sense more 
powerfully seconded by the cutaneous system. The wings 
are of a very great extent, though they do not possess the 
unguical phalanx, which it is so surprising to find in the 
phyllostomata, on the third finger. They have, propor- 
tionally, as much breadth as length, and reach to the 
hinder-feet, between the fourth and fifth toe. 

Vol. II, K 


The ears are of such an excessive amplitude, that they 
meet, and unite on the top of the head. 

Even to the leaf itself, there is a sort of supplement at 
its base, in the form of a lamina, which forms a second 
covering for the basis of the cone, and which is disposed 
on the sides into auricles for the nasal apertures. 

It sometimes happens that certain organs augment at the 
expense of the neighbouring parts. It is a question if the 
development of the leaf may not exercise some influence of 
this kind on the intermaxillary bone. It is most certain 
that this bone is reduced to so mere a rudiment, that 
M. Geoffroy could discover no traces of it in the two rae- 
gadermes of India, nor Daubenton in the Senegal species. 
To deny its existence altogether, seems, however, to be a 
proposition inconsistent with zoological analogy, and indeed 
with common sense. , It is more natural and reasonable to 
suppose that there is an intermaxillary bone in the mega- 
dermes as in the rhinolphi, but that it is small, suspended 
in the cartilages, and that it may frequently disappear. Its 
character of fragility, and very accessible situation, render 
it difficult for it to resist the least efforts. 

We shall not be surprised to find that the upper inci- 
sives do not exist, when the piece in which they should be 
inserted is wanting. But though they have not been found 
in such of the megadermes as have been submitted to the 
inspection of naturalists, we are not to suppose they may 
not exist in other individuals. It is most likely that, as 
with the rhinolphi, they share the fate of the intermaxillary 
bone, and that they exist with it, probably, to the number 
of two. This conjecture acquires additional force from the 
perfect resemblance of the upper maxillaries in the mega- 
dermes and the rhinolphi. 

It may also be observed that this resemblance in the dis- 
position of the maxillaries, serves to remove the mega- 
dermes a degree further still from the phyllostomata. 


This distinction holds good, also, in the teeth. The lower 
incisors of the megadermes are four, well-ranged, and 
slightly furrowed on the edges. The upper canines are re- 
markable by three facettes, and the lower ones, by their cur- 
vature backwards: a direction which is very rare, and 
which may also contribute to prevent the development of 
the intermaxillary bone. 

The cheek-teeth are eighteen, eight in the upper jaw, 
and ten in the lower. The first upper one is trenchant, 
compressed, and terminated by a long and fine point. The 
two teeth which follow, present the figure of two M's 
placed side by side, and the extreme points of which, are 
marked by sharp tubercles. The last cheek-tooth, from 
its smallness, might be taken for a moiety of the preceding 

The lower cheek-teeth are compressed ; the two first are 
simple, triangular, and with but a single point ; the three 
others somewhat longer, bristling with four points, formed 
on a kind of double plan, the most projecting side of which, 
is in front. 

It is easy, from this description, to perceive that these 
teeth approximate more to the cheek-teeth of flesh-eating 
animals than of the insectivora. The megadermes too, may 
be probably distinguished from the other bats, with nasal 
leaves, by a more decided taste for flesh. 

There are two characters in which the megadermes re- 
semble the vampire. They manifest no appearance of tail, 
and the interfemoral membrane, which comprises the en- 
tire space between the under extremities, is cut in a square 
form, from that point where it ceases to be supported by 
its osselets. 

Such are the grounds upon which M . Geoffroy was led to 
consider the Vesp. Spasma, and its congeners, as forming 
an isolated group, separated from the other cheiroptera by 

K 2 


characters sufficiently marked, to be entitled to the rank of 
generic distinctions. 

We shall not trouble our readers with any details con- 
cerning the species of the megadermata, which, with their 
characters, will be found in the table. 

The genus or sub-genus nycteris, was established by 
M. Desmanets and M. Geoffroy St. Hilaire, and afterwards 
admitted by Illiger. 

These bats have teeth similar in number and in form to 
those of the vespertilio. 

A single, but a very essential difference distinguishes 
these teeth from the teeth of the vespertilio : this is the 
disposition of the incisors. 

They are smaller, especially the lower ones, which are 
hardly to be distinguished by a single view ; above, they 
are not (as in the Lemurs) separated in pairs, but, on the 
contrary, they are arranged on a continuous line, commen- 
surate with the intermaxillary bone. 

This bone, subservient in the bats, to the variations 
which distinguish the organ of smelling, possesses a 
movement peculiar to itself. It is raised or lowered (oscil- 
lating as if on an axis) by the upper lip, which is of a thick- 
ness and consistence adequate to the operation of directing 
it. Diminished as it is at its points of articulation, it 
cannot participate in the fixedness of the other bony 

It is, doubtless, in consequence of the domination of the 
surrounding organs, that the intermaxillary bone is so re- 
markably small. It does not project beyond the canines, 
whence it happens that the upper jaw is shorter than 
the lower, and appears almost truncated. Another result 
of this is, that the incisors of the two jaws do not corres- 
pond, and resting edgeways, their summits are never worn, 
which remain v/ith two lobes above, and three indentations 


The nasal cavities of the Nycteres, when first examined 
in the cranium, might be considered as of no great depth, 
because the bones which circumscribe their extent are very 
narrow. The lower or palatal lamina, is not extended be- 
yond the second molar, and the external plate, or as it 
were, nasal maxillaries are quite rudimentary. But we 
form a very contrary opinion of these nasal cavities, when 
we see them provided with their soft parts. The hinder 
or back nostrils open considerably beyond the point where 
the maxillary bone is terminated, and the external conduits 
have their large entrances filled, and apparently incumbered 
with lobes and cutaneous appendages. A fold of skin ori- 
ginates from the middle of each conduit. A lobe, which is 
formed like the head of a nail, and is nothing but the car- 
tilage of the nostril, is seen at each side, and unites with 
the interior fold in hermetically sealing the nasal orifice. 
The only effort on the part of the animal, necessary for 
this operation, is simply to wrinkle or knit up these parts, 
or, perhaps, only to abandon them to their natural elasticity. 
The cavity of the nostrils is prolonged behind with the 
forehead. But what is not less remarkable, is the size 
and channelled form of this peculiar part. This gives 
to the nycteres the sombre and savage physiognomy by 
which they are characterized. 

The forehead is, in fact, extended beyond its habitual 
dimensions, by means of the bony laminae which originate 
from the sides of the os coronalis, and unite together on 
the vertex. The canal or longitudinal scissure which re- 
sults from the projection of these crests, extends upon the 

The forehead undergoes these strange metamorphoses, 
probably, to supply the extreme smallness of the nasal 
apertures, and may be, perhaps, a sort of funnel where the 
odorant fluids are collected. The edges of this scissure are 


bristling, with long and abundant hairs, which fill it. But 
this is hot so when the labial muscles raise the opercula, 
distend the interior folds, and partly open the nasal con- 
duits. These edges, by the tension of the skin are turned 
upwards, and with them, the long hairs with which they 
are furnished. 

Nostrils, which are habitually closed, and which to com- 
municate with surrounding bodies, require an act of volition 
in the animal, and the consequent exercise of certain 
muscles, are, doubtless, a characteristic which possesses in 
itself no ordinary degree of interest to the observer of na- 
ture. The nycteres derive no small advantage from it; 
they are thus enabled to establish their dwelling in places 
from which other animals are repulsed by powerful or pes- 
tiferous exhalations. It is doubtful, however, whether this 
singular and inverse disposition of the nasal conduits be 
meant to preserve the animal from the inconveniences of 
infectious odours alone. Like every thing else, of the 
kind, it supposes some corresponding modification else- 
where, and we shall find, on investigation, that to this ge- 
neral law of nature, the nycteres form no exception. 

The faculty of flying, in the bats, very naturally led men 
to the notion of comparing them with birds. The latter 
were observed to possess much more ease and grace in this 
style of locomotion, owing not only to the superior per- 
fection of their direct organs of flight, but also to the power 
they possess of inflating themselves with air, and thus di- 
minishing their specific gravity. It did not appear likely 
that a similar faculty would be discovered in the bats, 
whose pulmonary functions are, in fact, so very different 
from those of birds. 

It is, nevertheless, true, that aerial vesicles have been 
found in the nycteres, similar to those in birds, but still 
larger, and that the animal can fill them at what time and 


to what extent it pleases. But, as may well be imagined, 
the nycteres convey air into these vessels, by virtue of a pe- 
culiar mechanism, and by means of an organization, which 
with all its anomalies, is still derived from the primordial 
type of the class to which they belong. 

The results of so new a mode of organization are, un- 
questionably, worthy of research. The means which pro- 
duce it are perfectly simple. 

The skin has no adherence to the body, except in some 
places where it is retained by a celular texture, very flaccid, 
and separated. The air is introduced through this, and 
remaining between the skin and flesh, gives to the animal 
that appearance which is observed in veal when blown up 
in the butcher's shops. There are none of those threads, 
or cellular tissue, to be found, except in the neighbour- 
hood of the conduits, and on the sides of the thumb. Thus, 
the skin is completely raised on the back, the chest, and 
the abdomen. The nycteres are thus immersed in a bath 
of air, or rather placed in a sort of muff, which this elastic 
fluid forms around them. 

However extraordinary, such a fact as we have been 
describing, may seem, it yet appears to detract nothing 
from the essential character of the mammiferous type. 
Nor is this essential character any more affected by the 
mode in which this singular and extensive cellular system 
is inflated. 

At the bottom of each cheek-pouch is found a small aper- 
ture, and it is simply by means of this, that the aerial sac 
communicates with the mouth. The animal, in opening 
its nasal cavities, causes the circumambient air to enter 
and inflate its chest. On the other hand, in a moment 
after, by^abandoning the nasal membranes to their natural 
elasticity, and, at the same time, keeping the mouth closely 
shut, it forces the gas, which has been respired, to return 
into the cheek-pouches, and thence into the large aerial sac. 


Although there is, at the entrance of the sac, a sphincter 
which is very apparent, yet it is not by means of it, or at 
least by means of it alone, that the return of the air is re- 
sisted. There are large valvulae on the neck and back, 
which are charged with it. 

The air proceeding from the sphincter, takes the front 
of the ear in its way, passes into the sinus of the forehead, 
from whence it reaches the vertex, the occiput, and the 
upper part of the neck. It is there that it is discharged 
into the great sac. 

Thus, the nyctere manages exactly like the tetrodons, 
( Tetraodon lineatus, L.) It carries, at pleasure, a mouth- 
ful of air in its sac, then a second, and so on. It breathes 
exactly as we ourselves can do, in the very same manner, 
in fact, that we do breathe, with this difference only, that 
it breathes into its mouth, the cavity of which, is then 
without any external passage. It then becomes a true blad- 
der, within which, the trunk is, as it were, deposited. 
Thus inflated, it assumes a spherical form, and in this state, 
the animal bears no indistinct resemblance to a balloon, to 
which wings, a head and feet have been attached. 

More fortunate than the tetrodon, which cannot have re- 
course to a similar operation, without reducing itself to an 
inert mass on the face of the waters, the nyctere preserves 
all its faculties, or to speak more truly, it augments their 
energy, by becoming more light, and more capable of velo- 
city, in the act of flying. 

It was natural to suppose that such singular anomalies 
in the olfactory conduits, would influence another system of 
organs, and perhaps occasion considerable changes else- 
where. We find, in fact, that this extensive sac modifies, 
or rather procures for the nycteres, a most valuable ap- 
pendage to the respiratory organ. If this same apparatus, 
which is so well adapted to their system, be not, in truth, the 
motive of those modifications of the nasal cavities, and will 


not give an explanation of them completely satisfactory, at 
least, it cannot be denied that reciprocal and necessary re- 
lations must exist between all these parts. 

The distinctive characters of the nycteres are confined to 
the differences which we have now detailed. The other 
teeth of these bats, canine and molar, resemble those of 
the vespertiliones. The same is true of the abdominal 
viscera. The teguments only, present a greater extent of 
surface. The ears are longer than the head, without the 
auricula, which borders the meatus auditorius, being aug- 
mented in a similar proportion. This extent of the tegu- 
mentary system is peculiarly conspicuous between the legs, 
where the interfemoral, or as we may, in this case, term it, 
the caudal membrane, surpasses, in both its dimensions, 
the length of the animal. The compass of the wings, how- 
ever, and the peculiar size of each of those organs of 
volitation, present nothing very anomalous or extraor- 
dinary. The osselets of the fingers are in the smallest num- 
ber ever found among the bats. One, (the metacarpian,) 
constitutes the index, and the others are formed of three 
pieces, that is to say, of the metacarpian, and the two pha- 

The last vertebra of the tail is bifurcated, a singular 
kind of separation, found in all the nycteres, and not exist- 
ing in any other division of the bats. 

There was but one species of nyctere known, and de- 
scribed, in the time of Daubenton, his " campagnol volant ," 
(the vespertilio Mspidus of Linnaeus,) and bearded bat of 
Pennant. The nyctere Theba'is, differs from this, as also 
does another species, brought from Java, by M. Leschenault 
de la Tour. 

The dimensions of these bats are not the same. The 
nyctere of Daubenton, is as thirty-eight in length, from 
the head to the origin of the tail ; the nyctere Theba'is, as 
fifty-four ; that of Java, as sixty-seven. 


The ear is larger in the Egyptian species, and the fur 
is shorter, and tufted. The fur of this nyctere is clear 
brown above, and ash-colour underneath. In the nyctere 
of Daubenton, the tints are almost the same, only that on 
the back there is an approach to reddish, and to a dirty 
white under the belly, where there is also a mixture of 
fawn-colour. The Javanese species has the upper parts of 
a bright red, and the lower of a reddish ash-colour. 

The nyctere, which was first described, had been brought 
from Senegal, and we find that all the species inhabit the 
warm countries of the old continent. 

It seems probable, that two species exist in Senegal. 
Daubenton at least, has described two varieties, both of 
which had been sent to him by Adanson. The second, 
which, however, he established by a stuffed or dried speci- 
men, differed from the first, in having the whitish-colour 
of the lower part of the body mingled with an ashen-tint, 
and in there being no reddish on the membrane of the 
wings. The cranium, and principal bony parts of the same 
individual, were inspected by M. Geoffroy St. Hilaire, and 
they do not agree either in dimensions, or in some details of 
form, with the nycteres of Daubenton, or the nyctere Thebais. 
We shall now proceed to the Vespertiliones. This 
name was employed, at first, to designate the small number 
of bats which were known to the oldest systematic writers. 
Brisson was the first who restrained its acceptation, and 
applied it solely to such of these mammalia as have four 
incisors in the upper jaw, and six below. This, naturalist, 
as we have noticed before, established for the other spe- 
cies of this family, a new genus, under the name of Ptero- 
pus, to which he assigned this distinctive character : "In- 
cisive teeth, to the number of four, in each jaw." 

Such was the classification to which Erxleben, in 1777, 
seemed desirous to conform ; but as he wrote at an 
epoch when the discoveries of Daubenton had considerably 


augmented the number of the bats, and proved them to be 
susceptible of many more differences in that very relation 
in which Brisson considered them, he found himself em- 
barrased by these rich materials. Erxleben, without hesi- 
tation, had entirely adopted the principles of the French 
naturalist, and had made as many generic divisions as the 
discoveries of science had presented him with new types. 
But this was an innovation which he did not dare to adopt, 
and, consequently, he destroyed the true character of the ge- 
nus vespertilio, at least, as far as its first definition extended, 
by placing in it all the bats which had, more or less, than 
four incisors ; in fine, all those to which the characters of 
the genus pteropus were not found to agree. 

Linnaeus, who was acquainted, at first, with a very small 
number of bats, united them in a single group, under the 
name vespertilio. It was only in the last edition of his 
Systema Naturce, that he deviated from this arrangement, 
by separating from the bats, the leporinus, or hare-lipped 
bat, to bring it (for no very sufficient reason, apparently,) 
into the order of glires, under the name of noctilio. This 
great man, too much occupied in establishing the broader 
bases of his zoological classifications, often neglected the 
subdivisions, of which they were susceptible. The bats 
present a remarkable example of this. It might really be 
almost imagined that he knew nothing about them ; for, in 
the first instance, he attributed six incisors to these ani- 
mals ; a description which is applicable to none : and when, 
in his later editions, he corrected this character, it was only 
to extend to all of them the characters of a few species, 
namely, those of the pteropus of Brisson. Later systematic 
naturalists, struck with these inconsistencies and the em- 
barrassing consequences to which they led, recurred to the 
notion of a single genus. They established, however, some 
subdivisions founded on the number of the incisive teeth. 
But this was done less with the view of grouping the bats 


according to the order of their common relations, than to 
procure the means of determining the species with more 
rigorous precision. It was unfortunate that this sacrifice 
made to the advantages of a good classification, failed even 
to produce its intended effect, inasmuch as the observations 
relative to the number of incisors which are quoted in these 
writers are for the most part incorrect. 

The result then, in fact, proved to be neither a good 
classification for the families, nor an exact method for 
arriving at the determination of the species. The disorder 
which reigned on those points in later systematic works, is 
sufficiently proved by the difficulty, if not, indeed, impossi- 
bility, of employing the characters given in such works for 
the purpose of recognising the living objects themselves. 

Under such circumstances it was absolutely necessary to 
revise in some degree the labours of preceding naturalists 
on the subject of the bats. This task has been undertaken 
and most admirably performed by M. Geoffroy St. Hilaire, 
to whom we owe the substance of most of our observations 
on the cheiroptera. He set out upon the principle, that the 
cheiropterous tribes admitted of subdivisions perfectly in 
conformity to nature, and he has particularly succeeded in 
re-establishing the genus vespertilio, such as it was formed 
by Brisson, in explaining and enforcing the grounds on which 
it rests, and describing the species of which it is composed. 

These bats, which comprise nearly all the cheiroptera 
found in Europe are remarkable for the largeness of their 
head, their short muzzle, naked ears, and the existence of 
an auricula or tragus, which originates from the centre of 
the auricular conch ; for nostrils without membrane or ap- 
pendage ; and for a very long tail. They are capable of a 
very permanent and extensive flight, comprising within the 
two extremities of the wings a length four or five times as 
great as that of the body. The surface of their wings is 
moreover materially augmented by the interfemoral mem- 


brane, which extends upon the tail, and takes it in altoge- 
ther. The vespertiliones have also two mammae, situated 
on the breast, pretty near the arm-pits. The tongue is soft ; 
only in one species it is possible to perceive some papillae 
at the basis. All the fingers included in the membrane of 
the wings have neither nail nor unguical phalanx. 

These characters would be sufficient for the purpose qf 
recognising the vespertiliones. But to those are also joined 
the consideration of the teeth. These are arranged as in 
the lemurs. The same number and same disposition of the 
incisors prevail in both : four in the upper jaw, separated 
in pairs, six in the lower very closely approximated to each 
other. These teeth are not worn, they preserve their tops, 
so that the upper are always cylindrical and pointed at the 
extremity, and the lower divided into two lobes and cut as 
it were in scissures. The intermaxillary bone is formed of 
two portions not joined in front. As the upper incisors 
form but a very narrow lodgment in this bone, they are 
always remarkably small, and are easily disengaged from 
their beds. 

The canine teeth, to the number of two in each jaw, are 
the same as in all the bats. 

The cheek-teeth, on the contrary, have a form exclusively 
proper to the vespertiliones. There are from four to six 
on each side, according to the species. The anterior are 
conic. The others with large coronets are bristling with 
points. The lower ones are furrowed on the sides. The 
upper, twice as large, exhibit moreover a coronet with an 
oblique edge, insomuch, that they partly displace the lower 
when the jaws are closed. These large teeth moreover are 
hollow at their centre. In both rows they are respectively 
engrained, and present on inspection a general appearance 
from which it may easily be judged that they appertain to 
insectivorous animals. 

Such are the characters which agree without exception 


to the several species of vespertiliones. The indicating 
characters of this sub-genus may be given thus : Incisive 
teeth, four above, six below, nose simple, ear with auricula 
or tragus. 

We might be tempted to believe after what has now 
been said, that the sub-genus vespertilio including species so 
closely approximating to each other, might occasion some 
difficulty to the naturalist in making a rigorous specific 
determination. In truth we can but very seldom make use 
of the consideration of colour, a character to which we are 
obliged so often to have recourse in zoology, as all these bats 
are more or less brown or reddish. Nevertheless when we 
come to examine them attentively, we are astonished to 
find that they present so many appreciable differences. 
Their physiognomy varies ad infinitum. Their ears and 
auriculae are in proportions extremely different in the dif- 
ferent species. 

This mode of considering them will furnish the characters 
of each. 

The vespertilio murinus, or common bat, is that species 
which has been known in Europe from the earliest period. 
The figures found of this animal in Johnston and Edwards 
are by no means good. It had been compared with no spe- 
cies excepting the oreillard or great-eared bat. From that 
circumstance it derives its name of vespertilio major in 
Brisson, and its character, " ears smaller than the head," 
by which description Linnaeus only meant to oppose it to 
the smaller species, in which the ears are nearly as large 
as the body. Linnaeus also changed its name of major into 
that of murinus, in consequence of Brisson's observation 
that it had hair of a mouse-coloured gray. 

By the following character it may be always recognised. 
Oblong ears of the length of the head ; auricula shaped 
like a demi-heart : fur ashy red above, grayish white un- 
derneath. The murinus has the head moreover tolerably 


long, the forehead narrow and incurvated, and the cerebral 
case oblong. Its fur is of two colours, dark ashen at the 
origin of the hairs and red at the points above, and white 
under the belly. 

Preserved specimens of this species are sometimes of a 
tolerably bright red, but this is probably owing to the li- 
quor in which they are kept. A numerous assemblage of 
these bats were found in the church Des Grands Jesuites, 
in the Faubourg St. Antoine, in Paris. They were of all 
ages. The young had a shorter muzzle, the fur somewhat 
coarser, and of a tint in general more bordering on ash- 
colour. The males did not differ from the females except 
in the fact of the colours being generally a little brighter. 

In the last expedition of MM. Peron and Lesueur to the 
Austral regions was discovered a new species of the muri- 
nus. These gentlemen sent to the French museum two 
individuals exactly alike, and much larger, and of a clearer 
colour than our European murinus. The back was of a 
clear yellowish-ashen, and the belly of a decided white. 
We do not know where they were found. 

The bat of Carolina vesp. Carolinensis, is smaller than 
the preceding ; but in other respects there is a strong re- 
semblance. The ears and auriculae are of the same form 
and the same relative dimensions. The fur is likewise of 
two colours, dark ash-colour in the origin, and marron 
brown at the points. The extremities of the fur under- 
neath are of a yellowish colour as it approaches the belly. 
The ears are provided with hairs for more than half their 
length, and there is a small portion of the tail not enve- 
loped in the interfemoral membrane. These peculiarities, 
joined to the difference of colour, have seemed sufficient to 
the French naturalists to establish the non-identity of spe- 
cies between this and the common bat. The propor- 
tions of the cranium give additional strength to this opi- 


nion. The forehead is shorter and larger in the bat of 

This species was first described by M. Geoffroy. It was 
sent to France by M. Bose, who procured it in Carolina. 
It is excessively common in that country. Its characters 
may be summed up : oblong ears, of the length of the head, 
partly covered with hair, auricula in the form of a demi- 
heart. Fur brown marron above, yellowish underneath. 

The Noctule (Vesp. Noctula) might itself admit of an- 
other very natural subdivision by the approximation to 
each other of those species which have a mutual re- 
semblance in the number of incisors and false molars. In 
this point of view, the Noctule and the Barbastelle, (of 
which we shall speak presently,) deserve to be united, and 
distinguished from all the other Vespertiliones, inasmuch 
as they have, in the upper jaw, four incisives and four 
false molars ; and in the lower, six incisors and four false 
molars, a combination exhibited by no other group of the 
same family, nor, indeed, to any of the Cheiroptera hitherto 
discovered. The upper incisors are separated in pairs, 
rounded, pointed, and a little curved, and the first of each 
intermaxillary incisor is larger than the second. The first 
false molar is a very small anomalous, rudimentary tooth, 
concealed at the basis of the canine. The second is a re- 
gular tooth, and very large. The inferior incisors are 
trenchant, and uniformly situated on the arc of a circle. 
The two false molars, in this row, are regular. 

In pursuance of our plan of avoiding all superfluous details 
of organization, we shall confine ourselves here to such as 
are peculiar to the species in question. In the mammiferous 
tribes, generally, the movement of the wrist is performed 
by rather an exterior turning of the axis of the bone of 
the arm ; but in the bats generally, the carpus, instead of 
revolving below, in front of the fore-arm, does so on the 


side, and in this position, the thumb becomes the external 
finger, and the calcaneum is prolonged into a long apophysis 
to sustain the interfemoral membrane in flight. 

The head of the Noctule is large, the muzzle obtuse and 
without hair, the cheeks prominent and rounded. The ear 
is large and naked, and the eye is placed immediately be- 
neath it : the mouth is remarkably open, which gives a 
very peculiar expression to the physiognomy of the animal. 
Its organs of sense also, considered in detail, present cha- 
racters exclusively peculiar to the species. 

The eye very small and round, has thick eyelids, which sur- 
round it like swellings, and the upper one is surmounted in 
the front with a wart ; the iris and the pupil being both 
black, the form of the latter is not distinguishable. The 
nostrils very much separated from each other, are open on 
the sides of a flat and large muzzle, of a glandulous ap- 
pearance, but not very distinct from the naked parts which 
surround it. The orifice of these nostrils is circular, and is 
terminated behind by a tolerable large sinus, which has an 
upward direction. 

The upper lip is entire, and in the middle part of the 
lower, we remark a semicircular portion, which is furnished 
with an uniform and black skin, which appears to be orga- 
nized differently from the neighbouring parts. The mouth 
has no cheek pouches, and the tongue, which is covered 
with soft and fine papillae, is rounded at its extremity, and 
divided transversely in the middle by a sort of swelling that 
looks like a second tongue, and the anterior border of 
which is furnished with a rank of papillae, or soft and co- 
nical fringes ; this swelling is itself covered with soft pa- 
pillae, and terminated by two large glands rounded, and 
partly flattish. The ear is large, rounded at its extremity, 
of a breadth equal to its length, and is particularly remark- 
able by an elongation of the external edge of the helix, 
which is continued underneath as far as the commissure of 

Yah, II; h 


the lips, and still more in a smaller ear, which seems to be 
an appendage to the anthelix ; it is placed in front of the 
conch to protect the auditory conduit, and apparently to di- 
rect the sounds thither by repercussion. The conch in the 
middle part of the helix, has four or five folds, formed by 
the motions it makes for the purpose of bending back upon 

The body, with the exception of the muzzle, the ears, 
and a considerable portion of the membrane of the wings, 
is covered with hairs, remarkably soft and fine, the true 
character of which it is not very easy to determine. These 
hairs are longer, and form a thicker covering on the shoul- 
ders, the back, the flanks, the breast, and belly, than on the 
head and tail. The colour is of a golden-brown, deeper on 
the head, and paler on the lower parts. The naked parts 
are of a violet-black. 

When the noctule is on the ground, the fore-arm is drawn 
in towards the body, and the wrist, as well as the thumb, 
rests upon the earth ; the folded fingers are extended at 
full length along the external edge of the fore-arm, and are 
concealed under the membrane of the sides. In this situa- 
tion, the two last phalanges of the third finger are some- 
what bent, as is also the last phalanx of the second. The 
two others remain entirely extended, and the tail is bent 
back under the belly, from the second or third vertebra. 
When this animal walks, or rather drags itself along, these 
various parts preserve the same positions, and strange to say, 
they are the very same when the noctule, in a state of the 
most absolute repose, is suspended by its hinder feet with 
the head downwards. 

The individuals upon which the above observations were 
made, were found in the hollow trunk of a poplar tree, by 
M. Saulnier ; they were ten in number, in the upper part 
of this cavity, which extended to a considerable height in 
the trunk. These animals flew about the tree, and re- 


entered the hollow with inconceivable rapidity, and without 
justling, though the entrance was very narrow. This spe- 
cies is also found in old buildings, beneath the roof of 
churches, #c. The individuals just mentioned, having been 
placed in a large box with some minced-meat, paid no at- 
tention to it; all their anxiety appeared to be to hook 
themselves, and. hang head downwards, as speedily as pos- 
sible ; oftentimes they fastened, in this way, on one another, 
and would then utter a sharp and hurried cry, through 
vexation. Finally, at the end of a few days, they died of 

M. F. Cuvier, to whom natural history is so highly in" 
debted, has favoured us with some details relative to the 
Barbastelle, (Vespertilio Barbastellus,) with which we shall 
take the liberty to enrich our pages, but in as compendious 
a form as possible. 

The indvidual, which this naturalist examined, was taken 
in the steeple of a church ; being shut up in a glass case or 
press, furnished with several shelves, it traversed its whole 
extent, getting through the smallest passages, and finished 
by retiring into its most obsure corner. In standing, it 
placed on the ground the entire sole of its feet, and its 
wrist as well as its thumb ; the other fingers, with the 
membrane which unites them, were raised in a contrary 
direction to the fore-arm, and preserved, by this position, 
from friction against the ground. The tail was bent back 
underneath, and the membrane, which enveloped it, folded 
in such a manner as to fill the least possible space. In 
walking, the limbs were raised alternately as with other 
quadrupeds; the fore-arm was carried obliquely for ward, 
and followed by the hind-foot of the opposite side. The 
fingers generally remained united, as in standing; but 
sometimes they were triflingly separated, as if for the pur- 
pose of maintaining the equilibrium of the animal. Some- 
times, too, the nail of the thumb was crooked, apparently 

L 2 


for the purpose of dragging forward the posterior part of 
the body with more effect ; and, at other times, it remained 
extended and unemployed. The repose of this animal 
consisted in suspending by the hind-feet, with the head 
downwards, and a vertical superficies seemed indispen- 
sably requisite for this position. When it wished thus to 
suspend itself, it would stop at a convenient place, fix its 
thumbs where the nails of its hinder-feet should be hooked, 
and for this purpose, the slightest inequality was sufficient ; 
then, fastening itself strongly, it would detach one of its 
thumbs, and revolving its body, would carry the foot of the 
same side to the spot which the thumb had just occupied. 
The nails being once properly fixed, it would let go its 
other thumb, which movement, by leaving the body to its 
natural weight, carried the head downwards, and brought 
the second foot alongside of the first, where it became 
hooked in its turn. 

When this bat was desirous of flying, being on a hori- 
zontal surface, it would spring perpendicularly to the plane 
on which it rested, and suddenly extend its wings, which 
sustained it, and left it sufficient time to make some mo- 
tions to enable it to rise. If it was suspended, it would 
quit its hold, fall, unfurl its wings, and fly. 

This Barbastelle thus passed eight days, going from one 
place, where it was suspended, to another, to suspend itself 
afresh. It was especially during the night that it quitted 
its retreat and repose. It remained, during this time, with- 
out taking any nourishment, though meat cut into very 
small pieces had been put into the case where it was shut 
up. At last, however, in full day-light, it fell upon the 
meat, which it entirely devoured. When a piece was too 
large, it would fix it to the ground with its wrist, and cut it 
with its cheek-teeth ; but if these teeth got engaged in the 
meat, or any morsel attached to them, it would not use its 
feef to get rid of the embarrassment, but would seek for 


some projecting spot, against which it would rub its muz- 
zle. After the time above-mentioned, it was observed to 
eat no more, and it soon died. Cleanliness appeared a very 
peculiar characteristic of this animal ; with its hinder-feet 
it would rub all the parts of its body, and cleanse its nails, 
fingers, and the membrane forming its wings, very dexte- 
rously, with its mouth. There was very considerable viva- 
city in the motions of its head, appearing to indicate very 
lively sensations ; and its projecting cheeks, its mobile 
nose, and great ears, exhibited partial movements of asto- 
nishing variety, which gave to its physiognomy an expres- 
sion extremely singular in so small an animal. 

The system of dentition, as far as it respects the molars, is 
the same in all the insectivorous bats. In the Barbastelle, the 
upper incisors are four in number : the first is larger than 
the second, and bifid. There are six incisors in the lower jaw, 
and all indented. There are two false molars on each side 
of the two jaws, so that, in all, this animal has four-and- 
thirty teeth. The first false molar, in the upper jaw, is so 
small, and so completely concealed at the basis of the canine, 
that it is scarcely perceptible ; for this reason, it escaped the 
researches of Daubenton, who gives but eight upper cheek- 
teeth to this bat. On each side of the muzzle is a large tu- 
bercle or cushion, surrounding the nostrils in part, and be- 
hind which, is the eye. The eye itself is so small, that it 
is perceived with difficulty in the midst of the hairs which 
surround it, and it is impossible to distinguish exactly the 
form of the pupil. The nostril is bored at the extremity of 
a furrow, which has the form of a V, one of the branches 
of which, is much larger than the other. The lips are en- 
tire ; the tongue is smooth, and there do not appear to be 
any cheek-pouches. The most extended sense of this ani- 
mal is evidently that of hearing. The external conch of 
the ear, is of a most disproportioned magnitude ; it ex- 
tends, in front, as far as the middle of the forehead, is 


united by its basis to the opposite conch, and in the rest of 
its length, it approaches the other ear so closely, that at a 
front-view, it is impossible to perceive any of the back part 
of the head, and there appears to be nothing but muzzle. 
The same organ, on its other side, extends below, as far as 
the edges of the jaws, so that the eye is actually enclosed 
by it, and from its internal basis springs a lobe or second 
ear, in the form of an elongated leaf, which is entirely free, 
and seems destined to augment, if not, the sensibility of 
hearing, at least, the effect of sounds upon the auricular 

As to its wings, #c, it is unnecessary to go into any de- 
tails. The membrane of the flanks, also, includes the tibia, 
and extends from thence to the extremity of the tail, which 
is nearly one-third of the length of the whole body, so that 
when the animal extends its arms and hands, and its hind- 
legs horizontally, and erects its tail, it has not only wings, 
but a large parachute, which contributes not less than the 
wings, to diminish the specific gravity of its body. It is 
not easy to conceive why the men who have attempted to 
fly, and who have often paid so dearly for their folly, did 
not endeavour to construct their apparatus for flying after 
the model of the bats, than after that of the birds. There 
are certainly many more relations existing between man 
and the cheiroptera, than between him and the feathered 

The specific rank of the Barbastelle was first established 
byDaubenton; before his time, it had been confounded 
with the other bats. Buffon's figure of this animal is 
pretty good, but the fingers are not long enough. 

The Serotine ( V. Serotinus) is another vespertilio of Eu- 
rope, discovered, described, and named by Daubenton. It 
is found abundantly in Paris and its environs. The hollow 
trees, in the Bois de Boulogne, enclose them in vast num- 
bers. Its magnitude is the same with that of the murinus. 


It may be recognised by its oval and triangular eers, shorter 
than the head. The auricula arched, and with a summit, 
large and rounded. The hairs short ; fur bright-red above, 
more dull underneath. 

It must not be confounded with the preceding species on 
account of the similar disposition of the ears. It differs in 
the auricula, which is shorter, arched, and terminated by a 
large sort of head. Its ears are also more extended in 
front, their anterior border falling in a line over the eye, 
while, on the contrary, it is removed back a trifle in the 
noctule. Besides which, the head of the serotine is shorter, 
the forehead and muzzle considerably larger, and its hair 
gives out a brilliant reflection from the upper part. 

The Pepistelle ( V. pepistellus) is another French bat, the 
knowledge of which is owing to M. Daubenton; it is the 
smallest of all. It resembles the noctule so strongly in colour 
and proportions, that one might almost be tempted to consi- 
der it as a juvenile specimen of that species. It differs, how- 
ever, from the noctule, and that essentially. Its ears are of 
a triangular oval shape, shorter than the head ; the auricula 
is almost straight, and terminated by a roundish kind of 
summit. Its hairs are long ; its fur of a blackish-brown above, 
and brownish fawn-colour below. Thus the pipistrelle 
differs from the noctule, not only in size, but also in the 
auricula, which instead of being large at the base, and 
pointed at the extremity, approaches more to the configu- 
ration of that of the serotine. The colour of the hairs is 
a decided brown-black, which proceeds from the hair being 
black within, and fawn-colour only at the point. The 
pipistrelle is also remarkable for its long tail, which is 
very nearly as long as the body. Its cranium is also con- 
siderably remote in form from those of the noctule and sero- 
tine. The cerebral case is larger, more convex, and pro- 
jects more beyond the forehead, and the occiput is rounded, 
and without any crest. 


It is not uncommon to find it in the day-time on the 
ground, but this always happens when it is remote from 
any culminating point. It suffers itself to be taken with- 
out resistance, being overwhelmed by the fatigue of its 
fruitless efforts to resume its flight, and regain its habi- 

There is a variety of the pipistrelle found in Egypt. It is 
usually more of an ashen-colour ; the points of the hair are 
of that tint. 

The vespertilio auritus, or great-eared bat, is designated 
by Brisson, under the name of vespertilio minor, because it 
is much smaller than the other. But as its ears are of an 
excessive length, Linneeus changed its name into that of 
auritus, desirous of translating the French name oreillard, 
given to this bat, by Daubenton. Its ears almost as long 
as the body, and re-united in the front, easily cause it to 
be recognised among all the known species. It is but small 
in size ; the muzzle is tolerably large ; its nostrils present 
a singular peculiarity. After the nasal apertures, such as 
they are found in all the vespertiliones, are two holes, or 
rather two small purses. The ears are joined in front, a 
little way up ; their interior edge is folded backwards ; 
there are some hairs bordering the length of this fold, ex- 
actly in the manner in which the eye-lashes are fixed on the 
human eye-lids, ranged upon a single line. At the lower 
part of this edge, is a small fold, which cuts it in an angle 
of about 60°, and then proceeds, inwardly, towards the 
origin of the auricula. The tail is also very remarkable 
by its considerable length. The membrane of the wings is 
the same which extends between the legs, and that to an 
equal degree as in the wings ; these last, even in their ex- 
tension, are somewhat folded or wrinkled, in consequence of 
the numerous tendinous threads which are spread in the 
interval between the upper and under membrane. 

The fur of the auritus is greyish-brown above, and ash- 


colour underneath. M. Geoffroy found a bat of this kind 
in Egypt, apparently smaller than the European muritus, 
and which bordered more upon the red. 

The slope-eared bat (vespertilio emarginatus) is another of 
the bats of Europe. It escaped the researches of Daubenton, 
and of all the naturalists who succeeded him. It is, however, 
very common both in England and France. M. Geoffroy gives 
it the name of emarginatus, in consequence of a very 
marked slope at the external edge of its ears, and he thus 
characterizes it : " Oblong ears, of the length of the head, 
and sloped at their external edge ; auricula, awl-shaped ; 
fur reddish, gray above, ash-coloured below." This is the 
first instance we meet of this long and narrowed auricula, 
shaped like an awl, but it is a character of almost all the 
foreign vespertiliones. This species might be confounded 
with the pipistrelle, though it is somewhat larger, in con- 
sequence of the great resemblance of physiognomy. It also 
resembles the common bat in the two colours of its fur. It is 
not only towards the point that this hair is grayish-red, 
but it begins to be so from one-half of its length; hence, 
the general tint is uniform. Nevertheless, as it is long and 
tufted, when brushed back, some spots of dark ash-colour 
are perceived, which is the colour of the other portion of 
the hair. Under the belly, the extremities of the hair are 
of a dirty white. 

The vespertilio pictus, Kirivoula or striped bat, is one 
of the most anciently and best known, though a foreign 
species, and belonging to India. Seba was the first who 
gave a figure of it. Daubenton afterwards described it, 
and gave a much better print. Pallas also described an in- 
dividual, which he had seen in Holland ; he was wrong, 
however, in attributing to it eight incisors in the lower 
jaw. The Kirivoula, as Daubenton had already described it, 
has but six. Kirivoula is the name of this bat, at Ceylon ; 
it is also found, according to Seba, at the island of Ternate. 


Its epithet, pictus, is given from the yellow streaks which 
proceed from the carpus, and extend over the fingers. Its 
head is large, the muzzle slender. The forehead is arched, 
and the front of the cranium considerably incurvated; but 
this is not very visible in the fresh state, as this part is 
covered by long hairs, in which the ears are also partly 

These, though oval, have a small point above. The 
auricula is subulated, very narrow and long ; the fur is of 
a very beautiful colour, being of a most brilliant golden- 
red. The membrane of the wings is of a fawn-coloured 
brown, and is radiated with yellowish streaks the whole 
length of the fingers. 

The rough-tailed bat {vesp. lasiurus) inhabits Cayenne. 
Schreiber and Pennant have given a tolerable description of 
it. It is about the size of the emarginatus. Its ears are oval, 
shorter than the head. The auricula narrow, and shaped like 
ademi-heart ; the fur varied with yellowish and red ; radii 
of a grayish-brown, proceed from the carpus, and extend 
over the fingers. The hair above is yellow for almost its 
whole length, and cinnamon-colour at the point. The belly 
is yellowish. 

The Timor bat ( vespertiiio timorensis) is owing to the la- 
bours and researches of M. M. Peron and Lesueur. The 
ears are large, of the length of the head, and joined together 
by a small membrane ; the auricula like a demi-heart. It is 
brownish-black, and ashy in the under parts. The fur is 
long, soft, and thick. 

The Bourbon bat {vespertiiio Borbonicus,) comes from the 
island of Bourbon. It may thus be characterized : Ears tri- 
angular oval, half as short as the head; auricula long, formed 
like a demi-heart ; fur red above, and white below. Its head 
is short and large ; muzzle inflated, and nose projecting. 

The Senegal bat of Pennant (vespertiiio nigritd) was called, 
by Daubenton, the flying marmotte. Seba was the first who 


gave to two species of the Indian bats, the names of flying 
dog and flying-dormouse. Daubenton adopted this sort of 
nomenclature for the purpose of giving an idea of the relative 
sizes of these animals, not because there was any resem- 
blance between them and the species whose names they 
received in part. 

The ears of this vespertilio are oval triangular, one-third 
the length of the head. The auricula is long, and termi- 
nates in a point ; it is of a fawn-coloured brown. The 
muzzle is broad and thick, the lips long, but neither in- 
flated nor varicose. The end of the tail is disengaged be- 
yond the interfemoral membrane. Daubenton gives it but 
two upper incisors ; there are two others, but very small. 
It is a native of Virginia, and was made known by Adan- 
son's voyage to Senegal. 

The vespertilio maximus is the largest of this tribe. Its 
ears are oval, shorter than the head ; the auricula subu- 
lated, and the muzzle long and pointed. The fur is brown ; 
marron above, clear yellow on the sides, and dirty white 
under the belly. It inhabits Guiana. 

The vespertilio Noveboracensis, New-York bat, has been 
described by Pennant ; it seems to belong to this genus, 
though this clever naturalist says that it has no upper in- 
cisors ; Pennant, probably, saw an imperfect individual. 
The ears are short, large, and rounded. It is remarkable 
for a white spot at the origin of the wings. It is about the 
size of the noctule. 

The (vesp. lasiapterus ,) lasiopter bat of Shaw, in size, 
form of head, and colour, strongly resembles the serotine; 
but it differs in having the membrane of the wings covered 
with hair internally for about one half its length. 

The (vesp. villosissimus,) hairy bat, is a species of Paraguay, 
found in d'Azzara, and called villosissimus by M. Geoffroy, 
because the hair is longer than in all the other bats of that 
country, and extends even over the interfemoral membrane. 


It is of a whitish-brown, and there are some radii of 
the same colour on its wings, after the fashion of the 

The vespertilio ruber and the vespertilio albescens are two 
other species of the same country, and described by the 
same writer. The first is of a cinnamon-colour above, and 
rose-colour below. The second is blackish above, and of 
an obscure brown in the under parts. It appears as if 
powdered with white under the belly, because the points of 
each hair are of this colour; the whitish-tint increases 
more and more behind. The ears of both these species are 
remarkably sharp, and the auricula are subulated, i. e. awl- 

The word GALEOPITHECUS is a compound of two 
Greek words, signifying cat monkey. It was appropriated 
by Pallas to the lemur volans of Linnaeus, which had been 
designated by travellers under the names of flying cat, 
flying monkey, flying dog, SfC. 

The galeopitheci are at present but very imperfectly 
known. M. F. Cuvier has given us the best account of 
them. All we learn from those who have seen them living 
is, that they hang suspended by their hind-legs from the 
branches of trees ; that they feed on insects, and probably 
on small birds ; that they move with difficulty on the earth's 
surface, but climb trees with surprising facility, and spring 
from one to the other supported, as by a parachute, in 
their passage by the membrane spread around their body ; 
and that they are crepusculous animals, active only during 

More is known of their organization than of their mode 
of life. The various vulgar names applied to them have 
reference each to their general physiognomy, in which may 
be traced traits of similarity to the cat, the monkey, espe- 
cially the lemur and the dog. The largest species known, 


if indeed more than one be really described, is not bigger 
than a young cat ; but it is longer and thinner than any of 
the felinse, and in this respect approximates the lemurs. 

Their teeth are also nearer to those of the lemur than 
any other animal, though they present some strongly-marked 
differences. Of the six incisives in the lower jaw, the two 
external are indented like a comb, especially the interme- 
diate ; the four upper incisors are very small, but the two 
external are the largest ; the canine teeth are very small, 
and sharp pointed. The cheek-teeth, |J- are sharp pointed, 
and the anterior are very like the canine teeth. 

Their extremities are entirely enveloped in the mem- 
brane. The four feet have each five toes, parallelly 
disposed, furnished with long strong sharp semicircular 
nails. All the fingers are attached by the membrane, beyond 
which nothing is to be seen but the nails. The tail also, 
which is long, is included in the membrane. 

This singular appendage springs from under the throat, 
and extends to the fingers of the hands, from which it 
passes on to those of the hinder extremities, and so to the 
extremity of the tail, so that when the animal spreads its 
limbs to make a leap, it covers a space much larger than its 
body, which lowers it gently, in the manner of a para- 
chute, and assists also in lengthening the extent of its 
leap, though it does not appear to be of much service in 
aiding the ascent, being calculated simply to break or 
ease their fall. 

We know but little of the senses of these animals, and 
and still less of their modes of generation. Their eyes are 
large and prominent, the nose is simple ; the tongue is soft ; 
the ears are not very large, and the fur on them is soft and 
silky ; they have no whiskers, and their skin, particularly 
of the hands and feet, is very soft ; their mammae are 

The situation of the galeopitheci in natural arrangement 


seems hardly yet determined. LinnaBus and Pallas joined 
them to the lemurs. Geoffroy St. Hilaire attached them to 
the cheiroptera, or rather made them intermediate between 
the lemurs and bats. Our author, as we have seen, has 
placed them at the end of the cheiroptera, considering 
them apparently as more approximated by their organiza- 
tion to the omnivorous mammalia than to the quadrumana. 
Illiger makes them the first family of his volitantia, the 
cheiroptera of the Baron. It appears, says M. F. Cuvier, 
that the true place of these animals in their natural order 
is between the lemur and bat, whether we consider them 
with Linnaeus as the last of the former, or with M. Geoflroy 
at the head of the latter. 

The oleck, red galeopithecus, {lemur volans, L.) whose de- 
scription is sufficiently stated in the text and table, is said 
to emit a strong and disagreeable odour, though its flesh is 
perfectly palatable. The Pelew Islanders call it oleck, 
which should be adopted in preference to its factitious but 
more scientific appellative. The figure of the animal is 
from a specimen in a Mr. Bullock's late museum, with a 
young one attached to the teat. The figure in Audebert's 
History of Monkeys and Lemurs, like most of the rest in 
that splendid work, is very good and accurate in its detail. 

The varied galeopithecus of Audebert is smaller than the 
preceding, of a darkish brown, varied with white spots on 
the legs. It seems likely to be a young individual of the 
preceding species. 

Seba's figure has been treated as of a distinct species, 
under the name of the galeopithecus of Ternate. The fur is 
reddish-gray, soft, like that of the mole, deeper in shade 
above than below, with some white spots on the tail. 

Whatever may be the real number of species of this sin- 
gular family, the distinctiveness of those above enumerated 
seeme at present uncertain. 



■, VuMsJLid M & /, WMiahtrUt, '•'-■' 


The family of the cheiroptera, or bats, is, without ques* 
tion, the most abundant in species of any subdivision of 
the Mammalia. By a reference to the organs of mastica= 
tion, sense, and motion, it can fortunately be divided into 
numerous groups, without which it would be next to im- 
possible to study these singular animals with any prospect 
of success. 

The ancient authors busied themselves but little in dis- 
tinguishing the different species of bats. To Daubenton 
(so recently as 1759,) we are indebted for our knowledge 
of the noctule, though one of the commonest species. 
It may, also, be safely asserted, that many more accurate 
observations will be necessary, before we are in com- 
plete possession of its history ; and the same remark is 
equally applicable to all the other bats whose habits, 
structure, and disposition, have been as yet but very super- 
ficially studied. In truth, little is known concerning them 
beyond their mere zoological characters. Their natural 
history, properly speaking, has been made the subject of 
very few observations. There are, however, but few of the 
mammalia whose peculiarities would better repay the at- 
tention of a curious observer, inasmuch as their extraordi- 
nary organization obliges them to a mode of existence, if 
possible, still more extraordinary. The extreme difficulty 
of sustaining them in a state of captivity will, for a long 
time, hinder us from becoming acquainted with their true 
nature, and the advantages which they derive from their 
organization for procuring subsistence, escaping from their 
enemies, and propagating their kind. Before all the phe- 
nomena relative to these fundamental points of the natural 
history of any animal can be collected, a large number of 
individuals of each species must be subjected to attentive 

We have been a little more diffuse on this curious fa- 


mily, on account of the paucity of information in the 
English language on the subject, than our allotted space 
will allow for the numerous other branches of the animal 
kingdom, which we hope will be considered not merely 
as venial, but as acceptable. It is principally from the 
works of M. Geoffroy St. Hilaire, whose name so often 
occurs in these pages, that the substance of our essay has 
been extracted. 

Teet7i of Insfctiveras. 

Vj/th sTlort ctzruazes. 

Tilth 7 Oil l J CIT77T71C-S. 

C7tee7i teeth 




m ifartSTtfa .. 


i Sed^wq. 

3 Shrew. 

7Tup(iia teencu 

4 De<ST7ian . 

5 C7i?yscc7i7e7 

6 Tenre&. 

London.PuJbVCsfted Try G.S IVTuOaker; Marc7i /.7S2J. 


Supplement on the Insectivora. 

This name, in its literal signification, might be applied to 
a very extensive assemblage of the animal world. Some of 
the Lemurs, several of the smaller Simiee, and many of the 
Rodentia or Glires, are truly insectivorous. We have also 
seen that most of the Bats are principally sustained on in- 
sects. Our author, however, in his classification, restricts 
the application of the term to a particular tribe of mara- 
miferous Carnassiers, which forms the second family of 
that order. In this family he comprehends the genera, 
or rather subgenera, Hedgehog, Shrew, Desman, Sca- 
lope, Chrysoclore, Tenrec, and Mole ; which, like the 
Cheiroptera or Bats, have cheek-teeth, bristling with conic 
points. Their mode of existence is not only nocturnal, 
but for the most part subterranean, whence Illiger has 
named *bis corresponding order Subterranea. It may be 
remarked* that a similar formation of the cheek-teeth, 
namely that with shajrp tubercles, obtains in all insectivo- 
rous animals, even though they do not belong to the family 
we are about to describe. This conformity of the teeth with 
the nutriment of the animal is a very general law of nature. 

The family of Insectivora, as we have seen in the text, is 
conveniently divided into two tribes, distinct from each other 
by 'the* position and'refcafeive proportion of their incisive and 
canine teeth. The first having long incisors like those of 
the Rodentia, and short canines sometimes called lateral 
incisors, ambigui, or false canine teeth ; and the second with 
small incisive and longer canine teeth as in the Quadruma 
CarnivflIP, fyc. The former tribe includes all the subgenera 
of this family except the Tenrecs, Moles, and Condylure of 
Illiger, which compose the latter. 

We have accordingly given a figure of the general system 
of dentition in these two tribes, to which are added ex- 
amples of the variations in the cheek teeth, which, though 

Vol. II. M 


different from each other, are of the insectivorous charac- 
ter in all the species. 

The Hedgehog, which forms the first sub-genus of the 
insectivorous family, has been also called in popular lan- 
guage the Urchin, a word obviously derived, as well as the 
French word Herisson from Erinaceus, the name by which 
the Latins designated our Hedgehog, as the Greeks termed 
it echinos. From the species to which this name has been 
applied, it has been extended to others bordering thereon, 
and thus it has at length become a generic appellation. 

The Hedgehogs appertain to that family of the insecti- 
vora, which subsist for the most part on little animals, on 
insects, and on fruits. The cheek-teeth of this genus, with 
few exceptions, are distinguished by conical points, which 
are mutually intergrained together. They are plantigrade, 
dig into the earth to conceal themselves, pass their lives in 
a state of repose approaching to lethargy, and escape from 
their enemies by means of the obscurity in which they en- 
velope themselves. Their gait is heavy, and their intelli- 
gence very limited. They may be so far domesticated as 
to be brought up in gardens, where, without doing any 
mischief, they may prove of considerable service in destroy- 
ing many hurtful insects. It is said that their flesh is good 
for eating. 

The Hedgehogs have on each foot five toes, armed with 
nails proper for the purpose of digging. The soles are 
naked, and provided with projecting tubercles, which cover 
a soft skin underneath. The ear is rounded, and of a very 
simple structure. The eye is small with a round pupil. 
The nostrils, which extend considerably beyond the lower 
jaw, have their openings on each side of the muzzle, the 
external edge of which is fringed. The lips are entire, the 
tongue soft, and there are no cheek-pouches. The upper 
parts of the body are covered with thorns or bristles. On 


the under parts they are flexible, and partake more of the 
character of hair, though rather stiff. A few are found 
with something of a woolly character, and the upper lips 
are furnished with mustachios. 

These animals have at the extremity of each jaw two in- 
cisors similar in form to canine teeth, and of which they 
may make the same use as the Rodentiado of their incisors, 
or the other Carnassiers do of their canines. Those of the 
upper jaw are separated from each other ; those of the 
lower are approximated and nearly touching. Behind these 
first incisors in the upper jaw, are found, on each side, two 
small teeth with a single root, which have the form of the 
small anterior cheek-teeth called by our author false molars, 
though implanted in the intermaxillary bone. After these 
come the false molars themselves, separated from the last- 
mentioned by a small vacant interval. They are three in 
number. The first, which is the largest, has two roots ; 
the second has but one, and the third again has two, and a 
small internal protuberance beside. The true cheek-teeth 
then follow, to the number of four. The first has three 
tubercles, one on the external side, large, sharp, and trench- 
ant, the two others on the internal side, but smaller. The 
second and third of these teeth resemble, with the exception 
that the latter is not quite so large. They have all four 
tubercles of equal size, terminating the four angles of a 
square. The last is slender, situated obliquely in relation 
to the others, and not unlike a false molar. In the lower 
jaw there are three small teeth, with a single point and a 
single root, following immediately the large incisives. 
After this comes a first molar with two principal points, 
and terminated by a small protuberance. The second and 
third resemble. Three points form their anterior part, and 
two their posterior. The first are disposed in the form of 
a triangle, the second are beside each other transversely. 
The last molar, which is the fourth, and is very small, pre- 

M 2 


sents in front a small ^protuberance, and a forked point be- 
hind. The molar teeth of the two jaws are opposed crown 
to crown, so that the anterior part of those below corre- 
spond to the vacuum above, and the posterior part of these 
last to the vacuum below. We are not satisfactorily ac- 
quainted with more than two species, of the first of which, 
the Erinaceus Europaeus, we shall now speak. 

There are some animals, and among others the Hedge- 
hog, which manifest in an eminent degree the care and 
attention bestowed by nature on the preservation of living 
beings. In the majority, indeed, of mammiferous animals, 
the continuance of their existence appears mainly to depend 
upon that kind of equilibrium in the animal world, which 
properly constitutes the economy of nature, and not so much 
on any direct means afforded them for that purpose, or any 
express provision for their security and preservation. 
Those which attack, those which defend themselves, those 
which pursue, those which fly, and those which have re- 
course to concealment for refuge, are reduced in each coun- 
try from their reciprocal relations to a number pretty nearly 
fixed, and which cannot alter with respect to one division 
without some consequent and corresponding alteration 
with respect to another. Thus, for example, if any for- 
tuitous circumstances should conduce among us to the mul- 
tiplication of the mammiferous Carnassiers, the natural 
consequence would be that the species on which they sub- 
sisted must become the victims of this unusual increase, or 
they must themselves perish from misery and hunger. It 
would be impossible for either, by their own peculiar ac- 
tivity, or any internal resources, to resist the imperious 
control of circumstances in such a case. The state to 
which they would be reduced would be the inevitable ope- 
ration of a law founded on unalterable conditions, and in- 
volving within itself the truth of evidence and certainty of 
result which belong to mathematics. 


But the Hedgehog is one of those animals which form 
some exception to this general law. It is by no means so 
exclusively submitted to the influence of those causes which 
surround it. Its means of defence are to a certain extent 
independents the number of its enemies. Notwithstand- 
ing its weakness, it bids defiance to their power, it braves 
their attacks in all the consciousness of security, and finds 
the means of escape, of shelter, of resistance, in the re- 
sources which it has received from the bounty of nature. 
The thorns in which it possesses the faculty of self-envelop- 
ment, and which radiate round the circle of which its body 
forms the centre, constitute a rampart, before which the 
most powerful and voracious animals, which might other- 
wise be tempted to prey upon the Hedgehog, must infallibly 
be obliged to retire. 

It is not easy to conjecture for what reason so especial a 
favour has been conferred upon an animal, which by its 
littleness, its silence, the obscurity of its life, and the few- 
ness of its wants, would have been sufficiently concealed 
from all eyes, and sheltered from every enemy. One would 
imagine, from its provisions of defence, that it was destined 
to perform some important and necessary part in the grand 
economy of nature. But its habits, its appetites, and its 
instincts, do not differ materially from those of the other 
Mammalia, much more ill-provided against the approaches 
of danger, but which, nevertheless, contrive to preserve 
their existence for the prescribed period of its duration. 
The Moles, the Shrews, and all the omnivorous Rodentia, 
subsist, like the Hedgehog, on worms, insects, roots, and 

The majority of them, too, like this animal, shun the light 
of day, and conceal themselves in retreats of obscurity and 
silence. Nor is the Hedgehog distinguished for more intel- 
ligence than the rest, for in all of .them the power of per- 
ception seems limited to the faculty of distinguishing among 
the small number of causes which are influential on their 


being, the hurtful from the advantageous. Why the Hedge- 
hog, therefore, should be thus peculiarly favoured by nature, 
is a question which apparently we have no means of re- 
solving. It is not included, most probably, in the circle of 
proximate causes, the only ones which can fo?m the legiti- 
mate objects of human knowledge, and which are placed 
within the reach of human ability. 

The nature and constitution of the Hedgehog are obvious 
to an observer at his very first glance at the animal. Its 
heavy form, short limbs, and plantigrade motion, indicate 
at once the small proportion of its agility, the weakness 
of its intelligence, and the obscurity of its mode of exist- 
ence. The animal, in fact, is almost always in a state 
of concealment. It is usually found at the foot of trees, 
in those hollows left between them by the roots, and for 
which the moss forms a slight and second covering, or 
else in the vacuums which are found in heaps of rocks 
or stones, or in deserted rabbit-holes. In retreats like 
these it passes its gloomy days, and never sallies from 
its obscure abode until the congenial shades of night 
approach. It then proceeds, with a slow and measured 
pace, in search of its food, which principally consists of 
snails, worms, and other animals of the same description. 
It also feeds on sweet and succulent fruits ; but it is not 
true, as has been most absurdly asserted, that it carries 
them off upon its prickles. This supposition is not merely 
devoid of truth, but even of probability ; for the animal 
could have no means of detaching the fruits which were 
thus fastened on its thorns. It is also during the obscurity 
of night that the Hedgehogs seek to satisfy their sexual 
wants. They have the faculty of lowering their prickles, 
and of smoothing them to a level with their body, so as to 
be able to perform many operations without the least diffi- 
culty, which would be out of their power if the prickles 
were always rectangular with the body. 

It is in the commencement of Spring that the want of 


re-production begins to be felt by these animals, and the 
young are born in the course of the month of May. The 
period of gestation is not precisely known. The young 
come into the world covered with small prickles entirely 
white, and their reddish skin may easily be perceived be- 
tween them. Their eyes are closed, . and what is very re- 
markable, their ears also. This is a very singular pecu- 
liarity, and not observable, as far as we are aware, in any 
other species of the mammiferous animals. Some of the 
Bats, as we observed in our last number, possess the faculty 
of voluntarily closing the ears ; but this character of having 
them closed at and a little after birth, is exclusively con- 
fined, we apprehend, to the Hedgehog kind. The length of 
these young Hedgehogs is rarely above two inches, and the 
tail is very short. In a little time, their prickles increase 
both in size and number, and become coloured, and towards 
the Autumn, they differ little from the adults, except in 

When the Hedgehog has grown to its full dimensions, 
it is about nine inches in its greatest length, and all the 
upper parts of its body are covered with thorns, gray at 
their origin, then of a brownish black, and finally termi- 
nating in a white point. Its head, and the circumference 
of its ears, are clothed with harsh and brownish hairs, and 
the upper part of its fore-paws and all the lower parts of 
its body are covered with whitish hairs. The paws them- 
selves, the extremity of the muzzle, and the tail, are very 
nearly naked, but some rudiments of weak mustachios may 
be seen on the sides of the upper lip. The prickles are re- 
tained in the cuticle only by a very small pedicle. The 
eyes are simple, extremely projecting, and the pupil is 
round. The ear, small and rounded, is also of a very simple 
construction. The tragus and antitragus cartilarge, and 
very closely approaching to each other, so that the interval 
between them is but a small cleft above the auditory nerve. 


They are also surmounted by a sort of valve, which may be 
considered as a very extraordinary development of the in- 
ternal point of the helix, and which closes the ear com- 
pletely above when the animal approaches the anterior part 
of the conque to the posterior ; an operation which is al- 
ways performed whenever any foreign body advances to 
touch this organ. The nose extends considerably beyond 
the jaws. It is terminated by a snout or muzzle, the pos- 
terior part of which is divided by five or six scollops, which 
compose a kind of fringe work round it. The orifice of the 
olfactory conduit is open at the lower part of the nostrils, 
and consists in a furrow, which following a curved line, 
rises towards the upper part of the muzzle. The lips (as 
they are indeed in the whole genus) are entire, and no 
other accessory organ is found within the mouth. 

The organs of locomotion consist in plantigrade feet, 
which have five toes, armed with very long nails. The re- 
lative length of the toes in the two feet proceeds thus in a 
decreasing ratio : — the middle toe, annular, index, small 
toe, and thumb. The sole is furnished with three tubercles 
at the end of the four longest toes, and one extremely large 
towards the middle. The palm has also three tubercles at 
the base of the four first toes, then two more at its lower 
part, a large one and a smaller. All these parts are covered 
with a skin extremely soft and susceptible of the most deli- 
cate sensation of touch. The tail is very short, and usually 
folded back upon the genital parts. The teats, to the num- 
ber of five on each side, extend from the arm-pit to the 

The description of the teeth we have already given in 
our observations on the genus, and it is unnecessary to re- 
peat it here. We have also given every thing that is known 
concerning the manners and habits of the animal, and 
usages to which its organs are appropriated. We shall 
only add that the faculty which it possesses of enveloping 


itself completely in its thorns, when it rolls itself up into a 
ball, consists in the muscles of the skin, which, once ex- 
tended beyond the head and paws, contract and enclose the 
body in a sort of purse. 

Some authors have spoken of two species of the Hedge- 
hog among us, one characterized by a more obtuse muzzle 
than the other. But this distinction has not been con- 
firmed, nor does it apear to be founded on any very exact 
observation *. 

Our Hedgehog is met with throughout all Europe, except- 
ing in the very northern parts. It was well known by the 
ancients, and the majority of figures which have been pub- 
lished, from the time of Gessner to our own days, are tole- 
rably faithful, and communicate a pretty just notion of the 
animal. In all methodical catalogues it is known by the 
name of Erinaceus Europaus. 

The second species of the Erinaceus, is the long-eared 
Hedgehog (Erinaceus Auritus,) called also by some writers 
the Siberian Urchin. It inhabits the Eastern regions of 
Asiatic Russia, near the lower parts of the Volga and the 
Ural, and beyond the lake Baikal. It has also been found 
in Egypt by M. Geoffrey. Those near the Volga and the 
Ural are considerably smaller than the European species, 
but those beyond the lake are of a larger size. Its muzzle 
is short. The ears are distinguished for their size, from 
which character the animal derives both its popular and 

* The fact is, that these can only be considered as varieties of the Eri- 
naceus Europeeus. The first has received in French the name of Herisson 
Pourceau (Swine Hedgehog), from the form of its nose, which is elongated 
like the snout of a Hog. This is the most common variety. The other is 
much more rare. Daubenton could not discover it in the space of ten 
years, and M. Desmarest declares that he never saw it either alive or dead. 
It is called the Dog-hedgehog, from the form of its nose, which is propor- 
tioually shorter than in the first-mentioned variety. Its prickly armour is 
also less extended, the tail is longer and more slender. The hairs are 
thicker, stiffer, and of a deep red. The only figure of it has been given 
by Perrault, Collect, de I' Acad, des Sciences, torn. III., 2d part, p. 41. 


scientific appellations. The upper part of the body is 
covered with slender brown spines, with a whitish ring at 
their base, and a yellowish one at the point. They are not 
joined in tufts or stalks at their extremity to the root, but 
separated singly, and are smoothed back when the animal is 
in a state of repose. The nostrils are denticulated like the 
crest of a cock. The limbs are longer and more slender than 
those of our European Hedgehog. The tail is rather 
shorter, conical, and almost naked. The hair is in general 
much finer than that of the Erinaceus Europaeus ; in the 
limbs and belly it forms a fine whitish fur. The muzzle is 
furnished with four rows of whiskers. The colour of the 
tail is of a yellowish white. The iris of the eye is bluish. 
The female has usually two litters in the year, and brings 
forth from six to seven at a birth. It hybernates in holes 
a few inches below the surface of the ground. It feeds on 
insects, and can eat cantharides and such vesicatory insects, 
which would destroy other mammalia, without sustaining any 
inconvenience ; thereby evincing an instance of that harmo- 
nious agreement and consistency, which however prevalent, 
universally and in more familiar instances, too generally es- 
capes observation. The powers of stomach of the Hedgehog 
are equally adapted with its teeth for insectivorous regimen, 
and for such insects even as are destructive to others diffe- 
rently adapted ; were it otherwise, its mental impulse and 
its physical capabilities would frequently induce its de- 
struction. It grows remarkably fat, especially towards the 
Autumn, rolls itself up when afraid of any thing, and closely 
resembles the European species in all its habits and man- 
ners. We present a figure of this species. 

The Hedgehog with pendent ears (Erinaceus Malaccensis), 
is usually considered as belonging to this genus. Gmelin, 
however, was doubtful whether to class it here, or among 
the Porcupines. He placed it, notwithstanding, among the 
Hedgehogs, on the authority of Brisson. M. Desmarest 



Lnnlrn.Pubhslletl. iy G-.S, W/iiff,i,/ea:lkc r JS24_ 


gives it but a conditional place among them, as he seems 
to consider that its general appearance, and the form and 
length of its spines approximate it more to the Porcupines. 
We are not yet sufficiently acquainted with its system of 
dentition to assign it a determinate place in the Baron's 
classifications of the animal kingdom. Indeed all we know 
of the animal is from the figure, and very short description 
given of it by Seba, Its eyes are large and brilliant. The 
ears almost naked and pendulous. Its spines are from five to 
six inches in length, and are variegated with white, black, 
or reddish colours. There are soft hairs between those 
spines. The hairs of the under part of the body are red. 
Of its peculiar habits little or nothing is known. From 
this species was said to be procured the stone called piedra 
del porco, which was formerly held in high estimation for 
its medicinal virtues, and is probably a kind of bezoar. The 
habitat of this Erinaceus, or perhaps Hystrix, are the 
islands of Java and Sumatra, but principally the peninsula 
of Malacca. 

In addition to the species which we have now enumerated, 
some naturalists admit two others into the genus Erina- 
ceus. The first is the Hedgehog of Siberia, called Erinaceus 
Sibiricus, by Erxleben, Brisson, and Klein. It presents no 
very material points of dissimilarity to our Hedgehogs, ex- 
cept that its ears are flat and short, its nostrils are not 
fringed, its spines are red, and their points are of a golden 
yellow. The lower parts of the body are covered with hairs 
of a clear ash-colour, and slightly shaded with yellow. 
Sonnini considers it only to be a variety of the European 
Hedgehog. It has been rarely seen, and we are not aware 
of any existing figure of it. 

The second is the Earless Hedgehog (Erinaceus Inauris), 
also called the Hedgehog of America. It is known only by 
a figure and short description given by Seba. The ears 
have no external conque, and the spines are ash-coloured, 
approaching to yellow. The fore-part of the head, the 


belly, and the limbs, are covered with silken and whitish 
hairs. Those on the upper part of the eyes are of a deep 
brown, those of the temples long and blackish. 

According to Seba, who seems to have been deceived re- 
specting this point, it inhabits Dutch Guiana, and is sup- 
ported by fruits, roots, herbs, and the larvae or eggs of ants. 
Its flesh is white and delicate, and the inhabitants are said 
to use it as food. D'Azzara suspects, and apparently with 
good reason, that this animal is the same which he has 
mentioned under the name of Couy, and which belongs to 
the genus Hystrix. 

The next family of the Insectivora, according to our au- 
thor's arrangement, are the Shrews (Sorex), in French, 
Musaraignes. These little animals have been known at 
all times in Europe, and compared, from their littleness and 
the meagreness of their limbs, to spiders. This resemblance 
seemed to form so decided a trait in the conformation of 
the animal, that from it its French name is obviously de- 
rived. Pliny speaks of it under the appellation of Mus 
Araneus, and from this, in French, was formed first Musa- 
ragne, then Muserain, and finally Musaraigne. 

The first part of this appellation (Mus) indicates that 
the Shrew was originally supposed to belong to that nume- 
rous group of the smaller Rodentia. This notion was so 
implicitly received, that we find no variation except in its 
specific araneus, which, however, the greater number of 
naturalists adopted. Some Italians changed it for Ccecus, 
and Gessner gave the Shrew the name of Moschius, on ac- 
count of the peculiar musky odour which it exhales. 

It was soon, however, observed, that the Shrews formed 
a group of animals entirely isolated, and bearing small re- 
lat on to the Glires. Upon this it was thought necessary 
to establish the new genus, Sorex, and the necessity of 
so doing was more especially recognised, after Daubenton 
had explained and taught naturalists thoroughly to appre- 


ciate the distinctive characters of this genus, in a memoir 
which he inserted in the Transactions of the Academy of 
Sciences, in 1756. He also made known, at the same time, 
two distinct species. 

The Shrews, in fact, have no relation with the Rodentia, 
and consequently none with the Mice. Their jaws are com- 
pletely furnished with teeth. They are destitute of a caecum, 
and even of large intestines. Their ossa pubis are not united, 
and their head, which is excessively elongated, gives them 
quite another physiognomy. It is not easy to reckon their 
teeth, and at the same time to distinguish with precision 
their different kinds ; for all that we can learn on the sub- 
ject, after the most attentive examination's, that the ante- 
rior teeth, or if it must be so, the incisors, are the longest ; 
that the lateral teeth are the shortest, and that those in the 
hinder part of the mouth are furnished with conical points. 

A single Sorex, and one of the most common, the fur of 
which is of a grayish red, was the only one known until 
the year 1756. Daubenton then brought to light one of 
those species which live near the water, and to which 
Erxleben and Blumenbach have given the name of its dis- 
coverer, calling it Sorex Daubentonii. 

Some other species were also discovered in France, but 
at a period considerably later, in 1778. The celebrated 
Professor Hermann, of Strasburg, was informed of their 
existence by one of his pupils, whom an enthusiastic ardour 
for the study of natural history was at that time continually 
stimulating to researches after the smaller tribes of ani- 
mals. This pupil, whom considerable services to the cause 
of science have since advanced to an honourable celebrity, 
and to whom, whatever may be thought of his peculiar 
doctrines, none can refuse the praise of persevering assi- 
duity in the cultivation of knowledge, was no other than 
Dr. Gall. This disciple made known to his professor, 
without permitting himself to go any further, three new 


species of the Sorex. The charge of publishing this dis- 
covery to the world remained with Hermann, but unfor- 
tunately was not executed for a long time afterwards, and 
even then, in a very imperfect manner, the professor being 
obliged to return to the task several times. Thus, for in- 
stance, he began by confiding the figures to Schreber, who 
published them without any explanation. Boddaert, from 
the same source, introduced three new Shrews into his Elen- 
chus Animalium ; and it is only in a posthumous work of 
Hermann, dated 1804, that we finally discover any details 
concerning these singular animals. 

M. Geoffroy St. Hilaire, being thus made acquainted 
with the existence of several species of the Shrew in France, 
was desirous of enriching with them the collection of the 
Museum of Natural History. His correspondents supplied 
him not only with those already noticed, but also with se- 
veral others, which had hitherto escaped the researches of 
naturalists. We shall now have the pleasure of presenting 
our readers with the substance of his valuable observations 
on this subject, in as condensed a form as possible. 

The first remark which may be made respecting this fa- 
mily is, that there genuine Shrews to be found, ex- 
cepting in the ancient continent. Those which Gmelin 
places in America, either belong to genera altogether dif- 
ferent, or must, as utterly inauthentic, be blotted out en- 
tirely from the catalogue of living beings. Thus we find 
that the Sorex Aquaticus belongs to the Baron's new genus, 
the Scalopes. The Sorex Cristatus is the Condylure of 
Illiger ; the Sorex Brasiliensis is probably a Didelphis, and 
the Sorex Surinamensis may be suppressed altogether. 

Among the species of the ancient continent there are 
even some which must be withdrawn from the family of the 
Sorex. The Sorex Auratus is the Chrysochlore of Count 
Lacepede, and the Sorex Moschatus belongs to the sub- 
division My gate. Exclusively of all these anomalous species, 


the Shrews will form a very natural, and as we shall pre- 
sently see, a tolerably numerous family. 

The Shrews are easily recognised by the elongated 
and conical formation of the head, and more particularly 
by the exceeding length of their nostrils. Their ears have 
more width than height. The apparent shortness of their 
legs arises from their placing the entire sole of the foot so 
completely on the ground. The neck also appears short, 
because the clavicles contribute, by their length and pecu- 
liar disposition, to approximate the head to the anterior 

To form a just idea of the true length of their heads, it 
will be necessary to consider them when divested of their 
softer parts. We shall find that the skull presents a very 
sufficient capacity for the lodgment of the cerebral masses. 
It is remarkably wide between the fossae temporales, a fact, 
the existence of which would not be conjectured from a 
contemplation of the head with its integuments, but which 
is owing to the absence of the zygomatic arch. 

The jaws of the Shrews are completely furnished with 
teeth, to the number of twenty-eight or thirty. The two 
central teeth in each jaw, or the incisors, properly speak- 
ing, like those of the Glires, are the largest and strongest ; 
those above have a sort of spur or protuberance near the heel 
of each tooth,' while those below grow out horizontally from 
their alveoli for some distance, and then take a curve up- 
wards, where, in many species, they then become of a 
bright-brown colour. The three succeeding teeth in the 
upper jaw, (sometimes four,) and the two in the lower jaw, 
on each side, may, perhaps, be either termed lateral inci- 
sors or false canines ; they are shaped like ordinary canine 
teeth, but cannot perform the same office, being, in fact, 
shorter than the cheek-teeth, which are four above, and 
three below, on each side, in both jaws, with large crowns, 


furnished with several sharp conical points, the ordinary 
character of insectivorous cheek-teeth. 

The feet of the Shrews are completely divided, while 
those of the Desmans are palmate. They are pentadacty- 
lous, and the nails are short, curved, pointed, and elevated. 
It remains to distinguish the species of so natural a 
genus, by characters, not of the highest order it is true, 
but still by characters very certain and important, as the 
reader will be very easily convinced, from our subsequent 

Since we are assured that this little sub-genus of animals 
is composed of several species, it becomes necessary to in- 
quire what is the common Shrew, and to consider as not 
yet determined, the Sorex Araneus of Naturalists. It would 
be natural to have recourse to Hermann for the characters 
of this species, who has given them, comparatively, in refe- 
rence to the head species, which he described. But in 
his article on this subject, in his " Observations Zoolo- 
gies" he found himself involved in so much doubt and ob- 
scurity, that he has actually declared that he did not pre- 
cisely know the animal of which he was speaking. The 
" Tresor" of Fabre, who attributes a red fur to this spe- 
cies, increases our perplexity concerning it tenfold. The 
description, indeed, of Fabre, which applies to another 
Sorex, must be put altogether out of the question. 

The fur of the common Shrew, is a of a mouse-coloured 
gray, paler underneath, and bordering on fawn-colour, in 
some individuals of a smaller size, though perfectly adult. 
In others, a little stronger and larger, it partakes more of 
brown. The first kind is supposed, by M. GeofFroy, to be 
characteristic of the males, and the second of the females. 
We own, that we should have hazarded a different opinion. 
The hairs, in their entire length, are ash-coloured, except- 
ing at the point, where they are reddish. The little points 


of the hair, under the belly, and tail, are white. The tail is 
flesh-coloured, in the individuals first above-mentioned, and 
brown in the second. These differences may appertain to 
distinct races, or even to distinct species. This is a point 
not very easily decided, and such points must often recur 
where the distinctive characters are not of a high order. 

A third has been observed by the naturalist we have 
referred to, with tail one-fourth longer than that of the 
two fore-mentioned animals. 

Finally, individuals are found naked on the flanks, and 
exhibiting, on the sides, instead of hair, a white spot, of an 
elliptical form. These circumstances, our Naturalist seems 
to think, distinguish them as mothers suckling their off- 
spring. But he puts this question in an interrogatory 

The tail is covered with short hairs, it is tolerably full- 
shaped, demi-rounded, or to speak more correctly, sub- 
quadrated, or triflingly squared. Its four sides are rather 
projecting, but as the lines in angle, which separate them, 
are clearly perceptible, we cannot admit that the tail is en- 
tirely round. It is more so, certainly, in living individuals, 
and in specimens recently dead, some difference, in this 
respect, can be perceived. These observations, however 
minute they may appear to persons superficially acquainted 
with Zoology, are, nevertheless, to be insisted on, as ne- 
cessary to the precise determination of a species, which 
demands exactitude, in a very peculiar degree, satisfacto- 
rily to distinguish it. The lips and feet are flesh-coloured, 
and thinly sown with a few short and whitish hairs. 

Beside the three varieties we have noticed, Albinos are 
occasionally found. 

The Water-Shrew of Pennant, Shaw, and the English 
Naturalists, which we rather prefer, after Erxleben, call- 
ing Daubenton's Shrew, Sorex Daubentonii, is larger than 
the preceding. Its tail is also longer in proportion. The 
Vol. II. N 


tail and the limbs are better furnished with hairs, and the 
muzzle is a little more blunt. 

It is generally found in the neighbourhood of small rivu- 
lets, from which circumstance, Daubenton, its first describer, 
took occasion to call it the Water-Shrew. There are others, 
however, of this genus, which live in marshy and aquatic 
places, and this renders preferable the appellation given 
to the animal, by Blumenbach and Erxleben, namely, that 
of Sorex Daubentonii. Hermann changed it into that of 
Sorex Carinatus, having remarked that the upper part of 
the tail bears some resemblance to the keel of a 'vessel. 
Before him, Pallas had substituted the name of Fodiens, 
which is also the name under which the Shrew of Dauben- 
ton is inscribed in Gmelin's catalogue. 

The colour of its fur, blackish above, and a pure white 
underneath, is peculiar to itself. The white of the lower 
parts extends over the sides, being raised nearly above the 
level of the thighs. It may also be easily distinguished by 
a white spot, and by the ferruginous colour of the extre- 
mities of the teeth. 

M. Marchand, presented a specimen of this Sorex to 
M. Geoffrey. He found it in the stagnant waters, and 
beheld it maintain a combat of more than half an hour's 
duration with a frog, which it had seized with its paw. 

The ears of this species are furnished with three small 
valves, by which it is able, almost hermetically, to close the 
passage, a provision, as is also that of the stiff hairs 
bordering the feet, which accords with its aquatic habits, 
and is serviceable to it in the water. 

The next species to be noticed is the Sorex Tetragonurus. 
This is one of the new species described by Hermann. 
Daubenton, in 1791, having had some knowledge of the 
labours of this Professor, from the Elenchus Animalium of 
Boddaert, inserted all the Shrews, known at that period, in 
a systematic table, which he formed for the " Ency elope die 


Methodique," and which is printed in that collection, at 
the head of the Anatomical System of Animals, by Vicq- 

The Tetragonurus is a little smaller than the Sorex 
Araneus, and the tail much longer. The head is larger, 
and the muzzle more slender. The teeth are brown at 
their extremities ; there are two false canines more in the 
upper jaw, and all of them are smaller, and of an equal 
volume. Its ears, without being entirely concealed within 
the hairs, are shorter, and less apparent than in the com- 
mon Shrew. Its fur is blackish above, and a brown ash- 
colour below. Its tail is most decidedly squared, each 
face being altogether plane, and terminating suddenly in a 
very fine point. The lower part of the face exhibits a 
slight furrow. This species lives nearly in the same 
places as the common ; it is found in barns, particularly in 
the country, and sometimes within walled gardens. 

The next species of the Shrew is that which is called, by 
Hermann, Sorex Constrictus, and by Daubenton, Plaron. 
The only specimens ever possessed by Hermann, consisted 
of a litter of seven young ones, whose teeth had not yet 
appeared. No longer assisted by the labours of Dr. Gall, 
he found himself unable to procure an adult individual, 
and, consequently, he remained in some doubt respecting 
the reality of the species. The eminent Naturalist, to 
whose labours we are so deeply indebted for accurate in- 
formation, respecting many tribes of animals, (M. Geof- 
froy,) had the good fortune to have access to many adult 
specimens of this species, which enabled him to complete 
its verification and description. 

The Sorex Constrictus is equally found in Germany as 
well as France. It has been described, figured, and ex- 
tremely well-coloured, by M. Bechstein, in his work on 
Zoology, printed at Leipsic, in 1801. He gave it the 
name of Cunicularis, an appellation, objectionable from 

N 2 


its want of novelty, and, also, because the habit which it 
indicates, namely, that of digging burrows in the earth, is 
common to all the Shrews, who invariably do so, when they 
find no cavity of the kind ready made for their reception. 

This Shrew is about the size of the common one, but its 
tail is a little longeF than the Iatter's. Its muzzle seems 
stronger, and strait stiff hairs, extended over the cartilages 
of the nose, give it a shorter and blunter appearance. The 
ears are entirely concealed in the hair with which all their 
external parts are completely covered. 

On the inspection of the crania of this and the preceding 
species, it was found that the cerebral case was sensibly 
larger, and less bulbous in the Constrictus, and the fore- 
head was more arched in the Tetragonurus. The teeth of 
both are similar. The Constrictus has, as well as the other 
two, additional canines in the upper jaw. All these may 
be safely considered as so many characteristic traits, having 
been ascertained in individuals taken at the same age. 

The form of the tail of this animal has given rise to the 
specific appellation of Constrictus. It is fiat at its origin, 
narrow, and exhibits an appearance that seems to be the 
result of compression ; while in the remaining part, espe- 
cially towards the middle, it is thick, as if swelled out, and 
round, except at its extremity, where it is again flattened, 
and where the hairs unite in a point, like those of a paint- 

The fur is tolerably long, and soft to the touch. The 
hairs, for a considerable portion of their length, are black- 
ish, and red at the points. The belly is of a grayish-brown, 
and the throat is ash-coloured. The hair, of recent growth, 
is somewhat of a clearer colour than the old. In the first 
kind, underneath the belly, the points are gray, but in the 
hair, which is ready to fall, they are red. 

This Shrew is also remarkable for the copiousness and 
equality of its hair, dispositions, which impart to its fur, a 


velvety appearance, and an uniformity and harmony of tone. 
The feet of the Constrictus are covered with hair like those 
of the preceding species. The peculiar formation of the 
tail would seem to indicate that it lived in elevated situa- 
tions ; Dr. Gall, however, found the litter of seven, which 
we mentioned above, in a meadow which had just been 
mown, at a small distance from a rivulet. 

The Sorex Leucodon (White-toothed Shrew) is another of 
the species described by Hermann. It seems probable that 
the specimen seen by the Professor was but young. Its 
dimensions are much the same as those of the Shrew of 
Daubenton, excepting that the tail of the Leucodon is shorter. 
Its toes likewise are a little thicker, the nails are shorter, 
and the eyes larger. Its tail is not precisely rounded, but 
rather partakes of that approximation to a square which 
characterizes this organ in the common Shrew. Its incisive 
teeth, notwithstanding its name, cannot be considered as 
entirely white, except in its earlier age. In adults their 
extreme point is tinged with brown. Inaccurate or imper- 
fect observation could have only given rise to its specific 

The fur of this species is a much more distinctive cha- 
racter than any other that we have yet cited. Its back is 
brown ; its belly and (what is not observed in the other 
Shrews) its flanks are white. Elsewhere, as in all the 
other species, it is the points of the hairs alone which are 
of this latter colour ; the rest is ash-coloured. The upper 
part of the tail is the colour of the back, and the lower part 
the colour of the belly. 

The Striped Shrew (Sorex Lineatus,) is found in the 
environs of Paris. Its form is more lank, and its 
muzzle longer and finer than those of the preceding species; 
Its tail is round, and strongly partaking of the keel shape 
underneath. Its fur is generally of a blackish brown, the 
belly is more pale, and the throat is ash-coloured. By two 


other characters it may be easily recognised amid the little 
group of the Shrews ; the first is a narrow and white line 
which extends over the forehead, and departing from the 
front, disappears gradually over the nostrils ; the second is 
a white spot upon the ears. The hairs which compose this 
spot grow from the inside of the auricular conch, and bor- 
der the two small lobes which we noticed in describing the 
first species. Similar hairs may be seen, but shorter, and 
more scanty, in the other Shrews. 

The incisors are brown towards their extremity. From 
the form of the tail, it seems likely that this species is 
aquatic, and seldom removes far from moist situations. 

The Sorex Remifer or (Oared Shrew) is considerably 
larger than any of the preceding. M. Geoffroy regards it 
as a distinct species. He saw three different specimens. 

This Shrew differs from the preceding by its proportions, 
especially by those of the muzzle, which is very blunt and 
short. It is generally more clumsy in its figure, but bears 
a resemblance to the last in the colours of its fur, which 
is, however, of a brown black, considerably deeper in its 
shade. The belly is of a brownish ash-colour, and the 
throat of a clear ash-colour. The same spot is obser- 
vable upon the ear, but not the stripe across the fore- 

The extremities of the teeth are of a ferruginous brown. 
The peculiarity, which among other characters, more espe- 
cially distinguishes this new species, not only from the 
striped Shrew, but from every other, is the very singular 
form of the tail. In its first half it is a perfect square, 
having each face entirely plane, except the under one which 
is furrowed. From the end of this furrow originates in 
the other half a keel, which is prolonged in proportion as 
the tail diminishes in breadth. The tail ends in a com- 
pressed and flattish form, which bears no indistinct resem- 
blance to the shape of certain kinds of oars. 


It 'seems likely that all the Shrews which visit the water 
participate more or less in this sort of organization ; and 
it is more probable that this conformation determines the 
habits of these little animals, and the preference which 
they give to marshy grounds, rather than any disposition 
of the hairs of the toes, as has hitherto been believed. 

The Shrew of India (Sorex lndicus) has been described 
by Buffon, in the seventh volume of his Supplement, and 
figured in his 71st plate. 

It is considerably larger than the Shrews of Europe, but 
notwithstanding this, it perfectly resembles them in all 
essential characters, such as the teeth, toes, and length of 
muzzle. Its hair is altogether extremely short, and of a 
grayish brown, tinted with reddish at the top, because the 
point of each individual hair is of this colour. All the 
teeth are white. The round tail indicates that it is a ter- 
restrial animal ; and Buffon, in fact, informs us that it 
inhabits the fields, from whence it sometimes comes even 
into the houses. Its presence is soon betrayed by the strong 
odour of musk which it exhales. 

According to M. Geoffroy, the Sorex Murinus ought to 
be referred to this species. 

The Cape Shrew (Sorex Capensis) must not, according to 
Geoffroy, be confounded with the preceding animal. It is 
no doubt approximated to it in size, in the colour of the 
teeth, in the rounded and thick form of the tail, in the 
magnitude and nakedness of the ears, and in the musky 
odour which it exhales. But, nevertheless, there are dif- 
ferences which appear to be essential. No Shrew has a 
longer and slenderer muzzle, and its tail which is but one 
half shorter than the body, is in proportion much longer 
than that of the Indian Shrew. The tail is likewise of a 
different colour, being red, and quite contrasted with the 
colour of the fur ; its surface is covered with hairs that 
appear shorn, with a few silky hairs intermixed. 

The entire fur is ash-coloured, excepting on the back, 


where there is a slight sprinkling of fawn. The sides of 
the mouth are reddish. 

This species is not entirely new. It is the same which 
has been designated by Petiver under the title of Sorex 
Araneus maximus Capensis. He has given a bad figure of 
it, which was copied by Valentin. Burmann has also men- 
tioned it in his work on the animals of the Cape. 

According to MM. Peron and Lesueur, this species lives 
in caves. They take wonderful pains at the Cape for the 
destruction of this animal, as it is extremely troublesome, 
both on account of the mischief which it occasions, and 
the powerful odour which it exhales. 

The Rat-tailed Shrew {Sorex Myosurus) bears a consi- 
derable resemblance to the preceding.- For some time 
M. Geoffroy was inclined to consider it as an albine va- 
riety of the Sorex Capensis, for it approaches it in size, 
in the magnitude, and nakedness of the ears. There 
seem, however, to be essential differences between the 
two animals, which may justify their reference to distinct 

The tail of the Myosurus is longer and, more especially, 
much thicker than that of the Cape Shrew. The muzzle, 
on the contrary, is much shorter and singularly inflated on 
the sides. The limbs are strong, the feet thick, the ears 
very large, the hairs of the tail more dispersed, and the 
silky ones more numerous and longer. 

This animal is entirely white. 

The Sorex Myosurus was described by Pallas in the Acts 
of Petersburgh, in 1781, and figured. In the same plate 
he gives the figure of another Shrew, which he considers 
the male of his Myosurus. It may be observed, however, 
that the appearance of this last is considerably different 
from the Myosurus ; the head thicker, the tail shorter, and 
the fur altogether of a brownish black. 

M. Geoffroy gives us a figure of the skeleton of this 
Shrew, on which it may be observed, that it has two dorsal 


vertebrae, and two ribs more than the common species, 
having fourteen altogether. The Shrew of Daubenton has 
but one less, thirteen. 

Some others are mentioned in the table as unauthenti- 
cated and uncertain. 

We shall now speak of the sub-genus Desman (Mygale). 

The Desman is in the same predicament in relation to 
the Shrews as the Ondatra to the Field-mice. It is larger, 
and more necessitated to the adoption of an aquatic 

This genus has been known since the year 1605, and yet 
there has been no classification of the Mammalia in which 
it has not received a different allocation. It was first given by 
Clusius under the denomination of Mus aquaticus exoticus. 
Aldrovandus soon reduced this title to the simple name of 
genus and of species, calling the animal Mus aquatilis. 
Klein afterwards ranged it among the Dormice, giving it 
the name of Glis moschiferus. Hill and Brisson confined 
themselves to the name of Musk-rat, under which it had 
been so long confounded with the Ondatra. Finally, what 
had been a mere conjecture of Brisson, who had given too 
exclusive an attention to the form of the tail, was decidedly 
adopted by Linnaeus. The Desman passed among the Cas- 
tors, with which it remained confounded in the tenth and 
twelfth editions of the Systema Natura, under the name of 
Castor Moschatus. 

Some original labours appeared soon after. Such were 
the descriptions of this species by Buffon, Gmelin, and Gul- 
denstadt. But little resulted from their researches to en- 
rich the natural history of the Desman, except with better 
figures than any before published. 

The true affinities of this species were not ascertained 
and fixed until the year 1781. Pallas, after having esta- 
blished and discussed all its characters, finally replaced it 
among the Shrews, and his Soreoc Moschatus was adopted by 


all subsequent writers ori natural history. But this notion of 
the affinity of the Desman, which Pallas put forth as some- 
thing new, was not altogether so. The fact had evidently 
been suspected by Charleton in 1677, when he designated 
this identical animal under the name of Sorex Moscovitus. 
The Desman, in fact, in the natural order, must follow close 
upon the Shrews. But at the same time it must be kept 
separate from them, and not confounded with them, as 
Gmelin and Shaw have confounded it in their catalogues. 
The general relations which connect these beings together 
do not hinder them from differing in some very essential 
parts. Their teeth do not present a similar appearance, 
nor are they alike in number. The toes are free in one 
set of animals and palmate in the other, and their nostrils 
are so much unlike, that the name of horn might be not 
inappropriately applied to that of the Desman. 

From these differences, the necessity of classing the Des- 
man apart from the Shrews was felt by the Baron, as other- 
wise a hiatus must have been left in the catalogue of ani- 
mals not easily filled up. Accordingly, in the first volume 
of his Comparative Anatomy, in a list of genera and species 
which terminates it, he proposes the name of Mygale for 
this new genus. 

There are several considerations, independent of the dis- 
tinctions just noticed, which must oblige us to accede to 
the justness of this arrangement. On the one hand the 
number of genuine Shrews has become so very considerable, 
that it is necessary to reject from the group every animal 
whose attributes do not come strictly within the limits to 
which we have confined its definition. On the other hand 
also, the Desman, in consequence of the acquisition of a 
new species found in France, was clearly indicated as the 
centre of a little tribe, for the further augmentation of 
which nothing more in all probability was wanting than a 
belief in its existence and in the plurality of its species* 
and a little more attention to the characteristic traits of 


each. In fact, the acquisition of a species, to which we 
have alluded, gave to the new genus all the sanction which 
it required. But independently of that, the principal cha- 
racteristics, which we shall now notice, would have fur- 
nished a sufficient motive for its establishment. 

The cranium of the Desman exhibits as much analogy 
with that of the Mole, as with that of the Shrews. It does 
not terminate in so fine a point as the cranium of the 
Sorex. The bones of the nose are more elongated, and 
there is no want of zygomatic arch. The rising branches 
of the lower maxillaries are more elevated. It has two 
additional incisors in the lower jaw. The upper incisors have 
totally a different form from those of the Sorex ; they are 
large, and of a sugar-loaf form. The small canines are 
conic, and double the number of those of the Shrews, be- 
ing six on each side. The Desman, in fine, has forty-four 
teeth, as well as the Mole, which are distributed in the 
following manner : 

Lateral Incisors or false Canines. Cheek Teeth. 

Upper jaw, 2 — 12 — 8 = 22).. 
Lower jaw, 4 — 12 — 6 == 22) 
The orbit is not more apparent than in the Mole, be- 
cause the eye is equally small. 

The nasal conchs are prolonged so much as to present 
the appearance of a horn. Their length is equivalent to 
that of one-half of the cranium. They decrease insensibly 
after leaving the muzzle, and then gradually enlarge to- 
wards the nasal apertures. This horn, or proboscis, is as 
mobile as that of the Elephant. Pallas speaks of its sup- 
pleness and agility, and, at the same time, describes the 
muscles which regulate and impel its movements. 

Another difference, not less important, and which, like 
the preceding modification, results from the necessity under 
which the Desman is placed, of constantly inhabiting the 
water, is the total absence of the external ear. The 


Shrews, as we have observed above, are always provided 
with it. 

Finally, the completion of this system of organization, 
by virtue of which the Desman, renouncing, as it were, 
the attributes of a quadruped, comes to partake, with the 
fish, their natural element, is found in the transformation 
of its organs of locomotion into genuine oars. Its limbs are 
extremely short, and partly involved under the teguments of 
the trunk, and the toes, which terminatethem, are connected 
by membranes. The tail, in fine, as well as every other 
part, is accommodated to the same system, being flattened 
on the side, and contributing, by this conformation, to fa- 
cilitate the operation of swimming. 

This co-relative disposition of all the parts of the Des- 
man ; this concordant adaptation of all its forms, to con- 
stitute it an aquatic animal, exercises, as may be well sup- 
posed, the most imperious control over its habits and 
propensities. The Desmans, in truth, pass the most con- 
siderable portion of their lives in and under the water. 
Never, of their own accord, do they seek a dry place; and 
if they proceed from one pond to another, it is only when 
they meet with subterraneous channels, or ditches filled 
with water, to conduct them. 

They choose, by preference, ponds, lakes, all kinds of 
dormant waters, but more especially inundated places, sur- 
rounded by elevated banks, as their general habitations. 
They make there a sort of burrow, the entrance to which is 
under the water. From this entrance, they commence 
their operations ; they dig on, gaining, by degrees, in 
height, elevating their work in multiplied and lengthened 
windings, so as to embrace, at times, an extent of more 
than one-and-twenty feet. Thus, there is but one part of 
their burrow under the water ; there they live, either 
singly, or in a monogamous state, according to the season. 


They do not fall into a torpid state during the winter, a cir- 
cumstance which exposes them to an inevitable and serious 
evil. The ice, which is formed along the surface of the ponds, 
imprisons them under water, and within their burrow, and it 
would appear that they then endure a state of the most cruel 
torment ; for, if there are any fissures or holes through 
which it is possible for them to respire, they run thither to 
gain a little place, on a level with the water, to thrust out 
the extremity of their proboscis ; should they fail in this, 
they can only exist on the small quantity of air contained 
within their burrow. A trifling number thus survive, but 
the others perish by suffocation. Their attempts to release 
themselves, which we have just noticed, are more nume- 
rous in proportion to the duration of the cold season. 

The Desmans seldom come to a level with the water, 
except in the rutting season ; then they grow bolder, pro- 
ceed along the channel of the river, or collect in the water- 
plants, or attempt to climb along the shrubs that border the 

It has been asserted, that they feed on the roots of the 
nymphcBa, and on acorns, of which they lay up stores ; but 
Pallas never found any thing in their stomachs except the 
remains of larvae, and of worms. 

The epithet Moschatus has been given to these animals, 
in consequence of the strong musky odour which they exhale. 
This odour is so powerful and penetrating, that the flesh of 
pike, and other fish, which have chanced to feed upon the 
Desmans, becomes tainted by it. 

In the Desman of Russia, (My gale Moscovita,) the tail is 
shorter than the body. The form of this appendage is very 
remarkable. At its base, it is compressed ; soon after, it 
becomes cylindrical, somewhat swelled, and increases ra- 
pidly, in a bulbous form ; but, at a little distance, it begins 
to decrease again, which diminution continues insensibly 
to its extremity : the more it diminishes, the more it 


becomes vertically compressed. It is, also, like the tail of 
the Beaver, thickly set with scales between small intervals, 
which are filled with short and isolated hairs. Some scales 
are also found on the upper part of the toes. 

The fur of this Desman is much esteemed. It is com- 
posed, like that of the Beavers, of long silky hairs, and a 
kind of soft and marrowy felt concealed beneath. The fur 
is of a brown colour, paler above, and deeper on the flanks. 
The belly is of a silvery-white. 

The Desman of the Pyrenees, {My gale Pyrena'iea.) The 
discovery of this new species is owing to M. Desrouais, 
Professor of Natural History, at the central school of Tar- 
bes, in France. It is one-half smaller than the Desman 
described by Pallas. The tail is neither compressed at its 
commencement, nor inflated beyond that point. It dimi- 
nishes gradually and insensibly towards its extremity, is 
cylindrical in three-fourths of its length, and vertically 
compressed in the remainder. It is covered with short flat 
hairs, that are almost entirely adherent. Its nostrils are 
twice as long as in the preceding species. The front toes 
are but half enveloped in the skin, and the external toe of 
the hind foot is also nearly free. The fur is the same as 
that of the last species, as to the nature of the hair, which 
is silky, and as to its felty basis. But its colours are some- 
what different. All the upper part is of a Maroon-brown, 
the flanks grayish-brown, and the belly silvery-gray. There 
is no white part upon the face, as Pallas relates, to be the 
characteristic of the Desman of Russia. 

This species has, as yet, been found only at the foot of 
the Pyrenees, in the neighbourhood of Tarbes. The very 
great distance between the places where these two Des- 
mans are found, is additional reason for believing in the 
diversity of their species. 

The Scalope is the next sub-division of the insectivorous 


family. The two upper incisors are large, plane, and 
towards their extremities are shaped leaf-wise. The lower 
ones are conical, erect, tolerably long, and separated one 
from the other, and in the interval a little forwards, are 
two very small ones. In the upper jaw there is an inter- 
dentary space after the incisives. But in the lower jaw 
the teeth which replace the canines follow immediately. 
They are conical, and proceed gradually increasing in size 
towards the bottom of the jaw, where they change into 
molars, with a coronal provided with sharp tubercles. The 
muzzle is considerably elongated in the form of a horn, 
and cartilaginous at its extremity. The eyes are extremely 
small, and the external ears are altogether wanting. The 
fore-paws are very short and broad. The toes, to the num- 
ber of five, are united as far as the last phalanx. The 
nails are very long, flattened, linear, and proper for dig- 
ging. From the thumb (or that toe which may represent 
it), they proceed increasing as far as the third toe inclu- 
sive, while the two others diminish, and the external one 
is the least of all. The hinder feet are very small, very 
slender, and are armed with small and sharp nails. The 
tail is short. The whole body, the general form of which 
is more elongated than that of the Moles, is covered with 
very soft fur. 

The Scalope lives in the same style as the ..Moles, and 
digs like them subterraneous galleries. It is peculiar to 
North America, and is most usually found along the banks 
of rivers. This animal was classed for some time with the 
Radiated Mole of America, of which Illiger has formed his 
genus Condylura. But its characters must separate it from 
that animal. 

The only species known is the Scalope of Canada (Sea- 
lops Canadensis). This is the Sorex aquaticus of Linnaeus, 
and the Talya fusca of Shaw. It is of the same size as the 
European Mole, nearly about seven inches in its total length. 


The general colour of the head, when considered at first 
view, is fawn-coloured gray, but examined separately, each 
hair is of a mouse-coloured gray at its base, and fawn- 
coloured gray at the point. 

We may notice as somewhat singular that M. Fred. 
Cuvier has described, in the twelfth volume of the Annals 
of the Museum, the teeth of the Desman, under the name 
of this animal. It is apparently a typographical error in 
the title of the article, and in one passage in the article 

The genus or subgenus of the Chryschlore was founded 
by the Count Lacepede on a single animal which resembles 
the Moles in its mode of life, but differs from them in 
many other respects, and principally in the character of the 
teeth. In the upper jaw are two strong and sharp incisors ; 
in the lower are four, two similar to those above, and which 
exactly correspond with them, and two more, extremely 
small, placed between the others, and of no great apparent 
utility. The molars are nine in number in the upper jaw. 
The three first have each but a single point, and are all si- 
milar to each other ; the other six are tuberculous. Their 
general form is that of a triangle, each angle of which pos- 
sesses a tubercle. The most acute angle is that on the 
outside of the jaw, and at its base springs an isolated tu- 
bercle tolerably strong. The last of these teeth, much 
smaller than the others, is little else than a slender plate, 
in which, however, the general form of the other molars 
may be recognised. The lower jaw possesses but eight 
molars. The three first are single pointed like those in the 
upper jaw, and the five others have likewise a triangular 
form with tubercles. They are more slender, and the acute 
angle is outside. All these teeth are separated by an inter- 
val equal to their thickness, and it is in the vacuum left thus 
in one jaw that the teeth of the other are inserted when 

M'us. -.Y.luiors /:'.?</.' 


■ ■■'■ ! /-/• G.3 Whii/aker. Sept 1826. 


the mouth is closed. The Chrysochlore, is, we believe, the 
only example in the animal world, of teeth being opposed 
by their anterior and posterior faces. 

The toes of the front feet are three in number, and the 
external one, enveloped altogether in a nail formed for 
digging, is of a monstrous size. The hind feet have five 
toes, and the external one is the shortest. These animals 
have no tail, nor any external conch to the ear. Accord- 
ing to Seba, neither the eyes nor mamma are perceptible ; 
and he also says that the nostrils are situated on the ante- 
rior part of the muzzle, as in the Hog. The other parts of 
the organization have not been yet described. 

The Cape Chrysochlore (Talpa Asiatica) is smaller than 
the common Mole, but it has the same forms and very 
nearly the same physiognomy. It also lives beneath the 
earth, in burrows, the arrangement of which is not known. 
It digs with its fore-feet, which are armed with very thick 
nails, and the force of which is moreover sustained by a 
peculiar bone found in the arm below the cubitus. But 
what distinguishes this animal from all the other Mam- 
malia is the brilliancy of its fur, which exhibits metallic 
reflections, changing from green to a bronze red or golden 
yellow, and which reminds us of the dazzling plumage of 
some tropical birds, or the splendid hues of many of the 
scaly tribes. The female, as Seba hath it, does not differ 
from the male, except that the hairs of the muzzle and 
head are shorter and more yellowish, and those of the belly 
exhibit greater brilliancy of reflected radiance. It is from 
this golden colour that this sub-genus has received its name > 

The Chrysochlore is a native of the Cape of Good Hope. 
Seba had announced it as original in Siberia, and this 
error was adopted by Buffbn and Linnaeus. Brown, in his 
Zoological Illustrations, was the first who pointed out the 
true habitat of this animal. 

The Red Mole {Talpa rubra, Lin.) This species is 

Vol. If. O 


known only by the description and figure given of it by 
Seba. It is only, therefore, in consequence of the resem- 
blance of its paws with those of the Chrysochlore that it has 
been admitted into this genus. Seba, it is true, says that 
this Mole has but four toes on the hind feet ; but as he 
has given but four to his Siberian Mole, which he com- 
pares to his red Mole, it is probable that in both species 
the external toe, which is remarkably small, had escaped 
his notice. If we may judge by the figure given by this 
author, this species has a tail. We shall conclude this 
notice of the Chrysochlores with his description of the 
Talpa rubra. 

This mole is of a red, bordering on a clear ash-colour. 
It resembles considerably the common Mole, only that the 
fore-feet are formed differently, being only divided into 
three toes, the first of which is armed with a nail very large 
and long, pointed, and a little curved. The middle toe is 
the smallest, and its nail also. The third is also very small. 
The hinder feet are divided into four toes, armed with 
nails almost equal. 

We shall now proceed to the Moles, the most interest- 
ing subdivision of the insectivorous family. 

The genus Talpa of Gmelin consists of four species, 
which are thus named, — T. Europaa, T. Asiatica, T. longi- 
caudata, and T. rubra. Two of these, the Asiatica and the 
rubra have, as we have just seen, been separated from the 
Moles by later naturalists to form the new subdivision of the 
Chrysochlores. The Talpa longicaudata is too little known 
to render it possible that we can refer it with precision to 
any established genus ; and, in fine, the Talpa Europaa is 
the only species which has been observed with sufficient 
accuracy to admit of an exact detail of its characters. 

In the genus Sorex of Linnaeus and Gmelin, two species 
are found, in which the fore-paws are conformed, or very 


Nearly so, like those cf the European Mole, and in cnose- 
quence of this have been placed by some writers among 
the Moles. One of these we have already described, 
namely, the Sorex aquaticus, of which the Baron has made 
his genus Scalope. The other is the Sorex cristatus, of 
which Uliger formed his genus Condylure, which the Baron 
has, in the " Regne Animal," at least, suppressed. It will 
be proper, however, in this article on the Moles to present 
our readers with the observations opinion of M. Desmarest 
on the subject, 

M. Cuvier, in the " Regne Animal," established the cha- 
racters of the Mole on the inspection of one proper to the 
European species ; and he suppressed this genus of Uliger, 
because, from the inspection of its teeth, he was assured that 
it was a true Mole, and not a Sorex, as we have seen in 
the text. This opinion was received by M. Desmarest, until 
M. Lesueur sent a Sorex cristatus from Philadelphia to 
Paris ; and on inspection of this subject, M. D. became con- 
vinced that it ought to be considered as a separate genus. 
It presents characters, according to him, altogether pecu- 
liar to itself, and which separate it equally from the Moles 
and from the Shrews. We shall first, however, treat of the 
true Moles, and then the Condylures after M. Desmarest. 

The Talpa is defined as a genus of the insectivorous 
Mammalia of the second tribe, or that which contains spe- 
cies with four large canine teeth separated from each other, 
and having between them small incisive teeth ranged upon 
a single line. 

This genus is thus characterized : six upper incisors, 
small, vertical, and nearly equal in height, the intermediate 
ones being broader than the lateral ; eight small lower 
incisors, arranged archwise, and rather on a declivity ; two 
canines in each jaw, which surpass the incisors, and are 
triangular and compressed, the upper ones being larger 
than the under. There are seven molars on each side of 

o 2 


the upper jaw, and six below, with coronals provided with 
sharp points. The head is elongated, and terminated by a 
kind of snout ; eyes extremely small. No external ears. 
Short limbs with five toes on all. The fore limbs are 
stronger than the others, and are terminated by hands ex- 
tremely large, which have the palm always turned out- 
wards or backwards, the lower edge being trenchant, and 
the toes (or fingers) joined as far the basis of the nails, 
which are long, strong, and sharp. The hind-feet are more 
slender, the toes more feeble, more separated, and provided 
with nails of moderate size. The tail is short and but slightly 
covered with hairs. There are six abdominal mammse. 

The Moles exhibit anatomical characters not a little re- 
markable. Their head is extremely elongated and some- 
what flattened above. The cervical ligament possesses 
exceeding strength. The bones of the anterior extremities 
are angular, and so very thick, that theirt ransverse dia- 
meter is hardly exceeded by their length. The two bones 
of the fore-arm are attached. The clavicles are extremely 
strong. One very elongated bone of the carpus communi- 
cates solidity to the under edge of the hand. The motive 
muscles of these extremities are enormous; above all, the 
pectoral, which are attached upon a very large sternum 
composed of five pieces, and which, like that of bats and 
birds, has a central ridge considerably developed. The pel- 
vis is fact, extremely narrow. The pubes are not joined by a 
symphysis, which fact, according to the observations of M. 
Breton, allows the displacement of the vulvaat the period of 
parturition, and its movement in front of the pelvis. With- 
out this arrangement it would be impossible that the young 
could come forth, as they never could do so by the ordi- 
nary way, in consequence of the narrow diameter of the 
pelvis. The stomach is membranaceous, and of an elongated 
form. There is no caecum ; the liver has three lobes, and 
the gall-bladder is round. 


The Moles are animals eminently adapted for digging. 
All their muscular force is situated in the levator muscles 
of the head, which is to them a kind of lever, and, in their 
hands, which act as spades. Placed upon a solid ground, 
these animals move slowly ; but when they are permitted 
to dig, they speedily disappear. 

The Moles are insectivorous ; but besides earth-worms, 
and the larvae which they meet with in their subterraneous 
passages, they also feed on the roots of certain plants, and 
more especially on those of a tender kind. 

Hearing and touch are senses which they possess in a 
state of high development, but the others are less perfect. 

"After the removal of the Chrysochlore, Scalope, and Con- 
dylure, (if this last indeed be to be removed,) there will 
remain but a single species in the genus Talpa, which will 
be the Talpa Europaa, or our common European Mole. 
For the substance of some curious observations, respecting 
this animal, we are obliged to M. Sonnini. 

The Mole, properly so called, is one of the commonest 
animals we possess, and one of the most hurtful in culti- 
vated lands. It appears that this animal was not known 
to the ancients, who have been very wrongfully accused of 
having fallen into the gross error of supposing that the 
Mole had no eyes. Aristotle, it is true, in two places of 
his History of Animals, repeats this assertion. But the 
researches of modern times have ascertained that this 
illustrious naturalist was perfectly right in refusing the 
organs of vision to the Mole of his native country, to the 
ovaha% or aavaXaS, of Ancient Greece. There does, in fact, 
exist, in this country, a little subterraneous animal totally 
deprived of sight : Naturalists have become acquainted 
with it, but comparatively, lately, and have designated it 
under the appellation of the Rat-Mole. They have been 
obliged to confess, after many ages of injustice towards the 
ancients, that these last had truth altogether on their side, 


with regard to the Mole known in Greece, and had cor- 
rectly observed that this animal was not only completely 
blind, but did not possess even the smallest rudiment of an 
external eye. This, indeed, is not the only error into which 
a too great precipitancy of judgment has led many persons, 
in modern times, who are more prone to censure than 

It had been, in truth, not a little singular, if men so ac- 
customed to the observation of the works of nature, had 
not perceived the eyes of the common Mole, which, though 
very small, and a little concealed, are yet sufficiently ap- 
parent. The skin which surrounds them, as well as the 
hairs by which they are partly concealed, may be removed 
at the will of the animal, to permit it to perceive objects 
when it is above ground, while, at the same time, they pre- 
serve it from being dazzled by any glaring light. This 
skin, and these hairs, on the other hand, form, occasion- 
ally, a complete covering for the eyes, and prevent them 
from receiving any shock or injury when the Mole is at 
work in its subterraneous galleries. At such times, the or- 

* Almost all the fertile lands of Europe are inhabited by the common 
Mole. There are none, however, in Ireland, and few are to be found in 
Greece, where their place is supplied by the Spalax or Rat-Mole. Aristotle 
and Pliny have reported that the Moles, which had been brought to Le- 
badia, in Beotia, refused to dig the ground, while in the neighbouring 
territory of Orchomenos, they turned up all the cultivated lands. It must 
be remarked, here, that Lebadia is a very mountainous country, while 
Orchomenos is more flat. 

We should be deceived, if we considered, as genuine Moles, the little 
animals, of which Spallanzani met a numerous colony, in certain beech 
forests, near the Lake Seaffajolo, situated on the most elevated summit of 
the Apennines. (Travels in the Two Sicilies.) It is easy to recognise, 
from his account, that those animals, to which he gives the name of Moles, 
have no relation whatever with this genus, and are, in all probability, 

Pallas saw, repeatedly, the species of the common Mole, in the Canton 
of Kouschwa, not far from the Tyrol mountains. Those Moles are larger 
in breadth than the European, and almost all the individuals are white. 


gan of vision is of no use, and that of smell alone can 
direct the animal in its darkened paths. If a living Mole 
be plunged into the water, the teguments which cover the 
globe of the eye, immediately dilate, and leave the organ 
perfectly uncovered; because, under those circumstances, 
the animal has occasion for the use of all its faculties to 
extricate itself from impending danger. In other respects, 
the eyes of the Mole, which are not imbedded in their or- 
bits, like those of the majority of quadrupeds, are some- 
what of the shape and bigness of a grain of mustard-seed, 
and appear like two black and glittering points. 

The muzzle is elongated, mobile, and pointed very nearly 
like that of a swine. It is an instrument extremely well 
adapted to facilitate the labours of the Mole ; for while 
the animal, with its fore-paws, removes the soil, the snout, 
furnished with powerful muscles, and a small bone, raises 
the earth, and prepares the passage, through which the 
body is to go. The muzzle is terminated by two large 
nostrils, which advance a little beyond the opening of the 
mouth. There are twenty-two teeth, of which we have 
already given the detail, in each jaw. The tongue is long, 
and not very unlike that of the Carp. The mouth, being 
opened by the motion of the snout, a small membrane, 
placed below the upper lip, and which descends over the 
lower, hinders the earth from entering. Relatively to the 
magnitude of the Mole, and its mode of life, the organ of 
hearing is perfect, though less so than that of smell, 
which is extremely delicate. There is no external conch to 
the ears ; the meatus auditorius is concealed by the hairs 
which surround it. It is cartilaginous, and descends ob- 
liquely, as far as the cavity of the os petrosum, to which 
it adheres, by many small membraneous fibres. The orifice 
does not exceed, in diameter, the quill of the feather of a 
pigeon's wing ; and a small membranous valve, which is 
raised and lowered like the eye-lid, and the mechanism of 


which may be perceived by shaving the head of the Mole, 
closes the aperture, at the will of the animal, to prevent its 
being obstructed by earth or sand. 

All the feet are divided into five toes. The fore-feet, 
which have the form of hands, are broad, and placed ob- 
liquely, so that the palm is always secured, and the toes, 
(or fingers,) armed with flat and strong nails, are directed 
externally, and downwards. The hinder-feet are much 
smaller than the fore. The tail is short and scaly, like 
that of rats. The anus is exceedingly prolonged, from the 
origin of the tail. The body, thick and muscular, is covered 
with skin, which adheres strongly to the flesh, and is well 
furnished with close, soft, and silky hairs, insomuch, that 
the body of the Mole is not unlike a velvet pincushion, the 
two extremities of which are formed by the pointed muzzle, 
and the short and round tail. 

The left, or upper, orifice of the stomach, is surrounded 
by a fibrous wing, destined to bind this viscus together. 
Severinus found a transverse line, which attaches in some 
way, and separates the pylorus. Other anatomists have 
not made the same observation. The liver is divided into 
four lobes, though sometimes there are but three ; and 
some anatomists have even discovered five. Their colour 
is a reddish-brown. 

The gall-bladder is observed with difficulty, and does not 
contain much liquor. There are five lobes to the lungs. 
The heart is of an elongated form, and situated entirely on 
the left side. The spleen, which immediately adheres to the 
stomach, resembles that of a dog, precisely in its con- 

But it is the parts of generation which are chiefly re- 
markable in the Mole. " Nature," says Buffbn, " has 
been munificent, indeed, to this animal, in bestowing on it, 
as it were, the use of a sixth sense. It possesses a remark- 
able apparatus of reservoirs and vessels, a prodigious 


quantity of seminal liquor, enormous testicles, the genital 
member of exceeding length, and all secretly concealed in 
the interior of the animal, and, consequently, more active 
and vivid. The Mole is, in this respect, of all animals, 
the most advantageously gifted, the best organized, and 
must, of consequence, possess the most vivid sensations." 

The ordinary colour of the fur of the Moles is a fine 
black ; but various colours are found, which constitute the 
following varieties : 

The White Mole. — A variety first noticed by Wagner, in 
his Natural History of Helvetia. It is sometimes seen in 
Lorraine, in Switzerland, and in Holland, but more com- 
monly in climates farther north. Pallas tells us, that the 
Moles of Siberia are almost all of them white. Razou- 
mousky describes one of these Moles, which was caught 
near Lausanne. It was generally of a dirty-white, border- 
ing on fawn-colour, but with reflections of a more lustrous 
white, according to the light in which it was viewed. There 
was a little red on the throat and belly, and some spots of 
the same colour on the head. The end of the muzzle and 
the nails were of a blood-red. This animal was smaller 
than the common Mole. 

The Ash-coloured Mole, of which some German writers 
speak, seems to be nothing but an aged individual. The 
black colour of the Mole lightens, and grows gray with age. 

The Citron Mole, which is of a fine citron colour, is not 
met with, says M. De La Faille, except in a portion of the 
territory of Alais, and its colour is pretended to be the re- 
sult of the quality of the soil which it inhabits. 

The Fawn-coloured Mole, according to the same writer, 
is only found in the country of Aunis. Its fur is of a clear 
red, bordering on the fawn-colour towards the belly, with- 
out any spot or mixture. Some have been seen, the upper 
part of which was fawn, and the lower of a lustrous white. 
The Pied Mole. Seba asserts, that it has been found in 


East Friesland. It is longer than the common Mole. Its 
skin is marbled on the back, and under the belly, with white 
and black spots, in which may yet be distinguished an in- 
termixture of gray hairs, as fine as silk. The muzzle is 
long, and furnished with long and stiff hairs. 

Authors have mentioned some other varieties, with which 
we do not think it necessary to trouble our readers. 

Very handsome furs, and light and warm coverlets, have 
been manufactured from the skins of Moles, as well as very 
fine and handsome hats. Scandal will have it that, at one 
period, French ladies, of a certain age, were wont to use 
the same material for false eye-brows; if so, they could 
only have succeeded in deceiving those who put forth the 
imposition. In ancient medicine, many virtues have been 
attributed to the different parts of the Mole, both in the 
cure of disease, and the recovery of beauty, which had suf- 
fered from the relentless ravages of time. These sorts of 
medicaments have been long abandoned, and to enumerate 
them would be but loss of time. In Thrace, according to 
the report of M. Sestini, it is still believed that the skin of 
the Mole possesses the capacity of curing a defluxion of the 

Of all animals, the Mole is, probably, the most advanta- 
geously gifted by nature. With the exception of sight, 
which is the weakest of all its senses, because it is the least 
exercised, its other organs possess very great sensibility. 
Its hearing is remarkably fine, its touch delicate, and its 
sense of smelling most exquisite. Its skin is fine, and it 
always maintains its " embonpoint." Its fore limbs are 
terminated by hands rather than feet. Its strength is very 
considerable in proportion to the volume of its body ; and 
it possesses an address, in addition to its vigour, that 
accurately directs the employment of all its faculties. 

The Mole exhibits an admirable degree of industry in 
constructing the habitation to which it retreats. It passes 


its life under ground. If ever it abandons its asylum, it is 
but for a few moments, and only for the purpose of seeking 
some commodious soil, and the moment it has found it, it 
sets to work immediately. It closes the entrance to its re- 
treat, for it fears the open air as much as the open day 
It equally avoids mud, and a hard or rocky soil. It chooses, 
by preference, prepared and cultivated lands ; but if the 
water should surprise it, it hastily quits its abode for some 
more elevated situation. The overflowing of rivers and 
streams is the greatest scourge of the Moles, and the most 
certain and natural means of diminishing their number. 
These animals change their habitations according to the 
variations of the atmosphere. During the winter, and the 
rainy season, they remain in elevated situations. In sum- 
mer, they descend into the valleys, and if the drought con- 
tinues long, they will take refuge in cool and shady places, 
along the banks of ditches or streams. 

There is no animal more accustomed to labour than the 
Mole. Its means of subsistence are dispensed through the 
very bosom of the earth, and it is continually occupied in 
searching them out. Long alleys, usually parallel to the 
surface of the soil, and in depth from four to six inches, 
constitute the evidence of its laborious life. A skilful 
miner, it forms its galleries with equal art and activity. 
Sometimes it only raises the superficies of the soil, and 
sometimes it digs deeper, according to circumstances and 
temperature. All the roads which it opens have channels 
of intercommunication. According as it digs, it throws 
out the earth which it detaches, which produces those 
little domes of ejected earth, called Mole-hills. If, while 
engaged in its excavations, it should happen to be dis- 
turbed, it does not attempt to fly, by issuing from its gal- 
leries, but buries itself in the earth, by means of a perpen- 
dicular tunnel, to the depth of nearly two feet. If its 
channels of communication be disarranged, or the heaps of 


earth which it has formed, it comes instantly to repair 
them. The Mole is said to pant and blow, when with, its 
muzzle and paws it pushes the earth to a mole-hill, or when 
it forms a sort of oblong vault of moveable earth in the 
place where its track has been intercepted. 

The male of this species is lustier and more vigorous 
than the female. Its labours are easily recognised from the 
volume and number of the hillocks which it raises. Those 
of the female are smaller and less numerous. Those of the 
young are small, imperfect, of a zig-zag form, and the chan- 
nels or trenches which terminate each are nearly on a level 
with the surface of the soil. It has been observed that the 
hours of labour with the Mole are sunrise and sunset, 
noon, nine in the morning, and nine at night. These ani- 
mals are less eager at their work in winter than in summer. 
Their activity ,is diminished during the frosty season, but 
they do not fall into a torpid state as some writers have 
erroneously imagined. 

At such periods they seek the warmest places, such as 
the beds of gardens, and as soon as the cold becomes less 
rigorous, they resume their work and remove the earth as 
before. When the Moles begin to work, that the thaw is 
not far distant is a common observation among the inha- 
bitants of the country. 

The nutriment of the Moles consists in tender and suc- 
culent roots, the bulbs of the Colchicus, also worms and 
insects. Their season of love is the early spring. The 
powerful means of propagation which nature has bestowed 
on them animate their union with the liveliest ardour.. 
The male and female have accordingly much attachment 
for each other, and the latter has a peculiar tenderness for 
her young. She prepares for them before-hand a particu- 
lar retreat, which Buffon has described with equal elegance 
and truth. " This abode," says this admirable painter of 
nature, " is constructed with singular intelligence. The 


females commence with removing and raising the earth and 
forming a vault of tolerable height. They have partitions* 
a sort of pillars, at certain intervals. They then beat and 
press the earth, mix it with roots and herbs, and render it 
so hard and solid beneath, that the water cannot penetrate 
the vault, in consequence of its convexity and firmness. 
They then raise a hillock below, to the summit of which 
they bring grass and leaves, to make a bed for their little 
ones. In this situation, they find themselves above the 
level of the soil, and also, consequently, sheltered from any 
ordinary inundations, and at the same time secured from 
the rain by the vault which covers the hillock on which they 
repose. This hillock is pierced throughout with many 
sloping holes, which descend lowland extend on all sides, 
like so many subterraneous roads, through which the mother 
can sally forth and seek subsistence for her young. These 
subterraneous paths are firm and beaten, extend to about a 
dozen or fifteen paces, and all proceed from the retreat like 
the radii of a circle. There may be found, as well as under 
the vault, the bulbs of the colchicus, which are apparently 
the first food given by the mother to her offspring." 

In the interior of the Moles' nests are to be found leaves, 
grass, and the skins of those bulbous roots just mentioned. 
The little ones may be found there in the beginning of the 
month of March. At first they are quite naked and red. 
It is an old remark that more males than females are 
produced. They bring forth twice a year, generally four 
or five at a time, whence it is that the young may be found 
almost at all times, from spring to autumn. The exact 
period of gestation is unknown. Out of the season of 
sexual intercourse, and of the care of the young, every Mole 
lives an isolated, retired life, seeking its sustenence by con- 
tinual labour. 

The Mole, however destructive to agriculture, repays us 
to a certain degree by her services. Hence some would 


proscribe and utterly annihilate the race, while others 
would rather promote their increase. If she destroys the 
roots and seeds which are the care of man, she destroys 
worms, and insects, and noxious weeds, which are alike 
inimical to his industry ; even the heaps of earth she 
raises on the surface, when spread, become serviceable as 
manure, particularly to meadow-land. However detrimental, 
therefore, these animals may be, especially to gardens, it 
is difficult, where they are not at least locally excessive 
in number, to ascertain the balance of mischief they may 
do when they have been credited for their beneficial offices. 

It is justly observed, that to annihilate a species is an 
usurpation, and an abuse of the power of man, and which 
would, we cannot doubt, be detrimental to his interests in 
the end, were he to succeed in his exterminating projects. 
Nothing surely is made in vain, and to destroy the balance 
of nature in the immensity of her work is to violate her 
laws, and consequently to lead to confusion and mischief. 
To a certain extent it may be the duty of man, as the agent 
of Omnipotence, to limit the undue multiplication of some 
species, but not to annihilate any. Such undue multipli- 
cation indeed, in a great measure, is provided for without 
his interference ; and species, noxious in certain particulars, 
are generally the means of checking the increase of others 
equally or still more extensively mischievous. 

The Tenrecs, or Madagascar Hedgehogs, have four 
upper incisors bent, and six trenchant and lobed laterally 
in the lower jaw, a canine tooth on each side, and six cheek- 
teeth in each jaw. The first of these is a compressed iso- 
lated false molar, but the five following are genuine insecti- 
vorous teeth. Their body is covered with spines like those 
of the Hedgehog ; the head is elongated, the muzzle ex- 
cessively pointed, the eyes moderately large, the ears short 
and round, and they have no tail. 

The anatomical characters of the Tenrecs approximate 


to those of the Hedgehog. Like that animal, they have cla- 
vicles, and are destitute of the great intestines and of a 
cascum ; but they differ in the fleshy panicle, which is not 
organized so as to envelop them as it were in a purse. The 
Tenrecs have the tibia and perona distinct, but they are so 
intimately connected as not to be able to play on each 

We know but little of this sub-genus. They dig in the 
earth and remain there during the day, and are said to 
sleep for three months in the year, not indeed in win- 
ter, but, on the contrary, during the greatest heat of sum- 
mer, as Buffon informs us, on the authority of Bruguiere. 

The Tenrec, properly speaking, the Tenrec or Tanrec of 
Buffon, is about eight inches long and formed a good deal 
like a Hedgehog, except that it is rather more elongated. 
The spines, which cover all its upper parts, are yellowish 
at the root and black in the remainder, the longest not ex- 
ceeding an inch ; they form a sort of tuft above the head. 
The back, crupper, and sides of the body are covered with 
silky hairs of the same colour as the spines ; rough yel- 
lowish hairs cover the throat, breast, belly, and legs ; the 
ears are very short ; the muzzle very elongated, of a 
brownish colour : the nails are crooked, strong, and calcu- 
lated for digging. 

Their flesh, like that of most of the insectivorous ani- 
mals, is unpleasant to the taste ; notwithstanding which, 
as Buffon informs us, it is eaten by the Indians with much 

The Tendrac {Erinaceus Setosus, Gin.,) is smaller than 
the Tenrec, not exceeding 5 inches in length. Its body is 
covered with silky flexible hairs, of a pale yellow colour ; 
the top of the head, and upper part of the neck and shoulders 
are furnished with numerous small strong spines, those be- 
hind the head, particularly, elevated almost into a tuft ; they 
are white at their base, and deep red toward the point ; 


the belly and paws are covered with long hairs, annulated, 
and very rough. 

The Varied Tenrec, considered erroneously by Buffon, 
says M. Desmarest, as a young Tenrec, is about four inches 
long. Its whole body is covered with silky hair and spines 
mixed together, so coloured that the back, of a blackish 
brown, is marked by three longitudinal lines, of a yellowish 
white ; the middle one streching from the lip of the muzzle 
to the anus, and the two lateral beginning at the ear, and 
terminating on the flank. The paws and under part of the 
body are yellowish white. 

The Condylure is stated by our author, as we have ob- 
served in a note on the text, to be, by its dentition at least, 
no other than a Mole. In this, we should have implicitly 
followed him, did he not seem to treat the same species as 
distinct in his " Ossemens fossiles ;" and as we have not the 
means of referring to the teeth themselves, we shall append 
M. Desmarest's description of the animal, which he con- 
siders to be distinct from the Moles ; and, indeed, as inter- 
mediate between the two tribes of the insectivorous family. 

The genus Condylure, says he, belongs not to the second 
tribe of the family insectivora, but by its characters ap- 
proaches more to the first, in which are included the species 
provided with two long incisive teeth, and canines shorter 
than the molars. This genus, as we shall see, may be ar- 
ranged between the two already admitted. 

It is thus characterized: In the upper jaw there are six 
anomalous incisors implanted in the maxillary bone, the 
two intermediate are very large and contiguous, occupying 
the whole extremity of the jaw, furrowed, trenchant, a 
little obliquely, having the angle by which they touch each 
other more salient than the external angle ; the fol- 
lowing incisors on each side touch the intermediate, and 
resemble long canine teeth, being conical, a little triangu- 
lar at their base, where there are two very small tubercles, 


one before and the other behind ; the external or lateral 
incisors, which are the smallest of ail the teeth-, are simply 
conical, slightly compressed, and a little bent backward at 
their point, and placed at some distance from the incisors, 
like canine teeth. There are seven cheek-teeth on each 
side, the three first being the smallest and apart from each 
other ; the four following rather larger. But we shall not 
pursue M. Desmarest further, in relation to the upper 
cheek-teeth, as they seem to present the ordinary character 
of insectivorous teeth, making in all twenty in the upper 

The lower jaw is very slender ; it has four incisors, flat, 
close, furrowed longitudinally, with the upper end of the 
furrow wider than the rest ; the lateral incisors are partly 
bedded horizontally on the intermediate, and rise a little 
on the external edge ; five teeth with many lobes follow on 
each side, which may be considered as false molars, as 
distinct from each other as those of the upper jaw, the first 
being larger than the others, and resembling in that parti- 
cular only a canine tooth. The true molars in this jaw are 
only three. In all in this jaw also twenty. 

Hence, continues M. Desmarest, the Mole and the Con- 
dylure differ in their dentition as follows : 

Condylure, incisors f, canine, , cheek-teeth, ^=40 * 
Mole, -f, H H=44 

The Condylure has the muzzle very much elongated, 
very wrinkled, provided with a bone at the snout, and fur- 
nished at its point, in the species, at least, the most known 
with a naked disk, which encloses in its centre the opening 
of the two nostrils, and the edge of which is furnished with 
twenty cartilaginous moveable points granulated on their 

* If we consider the second incisive a canine tooth on account of its 
strength, it will then be, incisors 1, canines i£, cheek-teeth §§. 
Vol. II. P 


Like the Moles, their neck is not distinct. The ante- 
rior paws are very short ; the hands large, naked, scaly, 
with the lower edge trenchant, though in a less degree than 
in the Moles. They have five short fingers united as far as 
the second phalanx with long straight nails. The hinder 
feet are longer than those of the Mole or Scalope, and 
longer by a third than the anterior ; they are weak, and 
the toes are deeply divided ; the nails not so long as in the 
hands, more bent and sharp at their points. The tail is 
very slender, with the vertebrae a little salient. It is 
about one third the length of the body ; the skin which 
covers it is divided into transverse folds, moderately close 
and scaly, and between the scales spring a few rough hairs. 

Their fur is short, fine, soft, and silky. Their eyes very 
small 7 and so concealed in the fur, that it is with difficulty 
they can be found. The ears are totally destitute of an 
external conque. They have long rough mustachios, ele- 
vated parallel with each other, and directed forward to- 
wards the muzzle. The eyebrows are indicated by three 
or four similar hairs, which direct to the situation of the 
eyes. The palms are perfectly naked. 

The first, and indeed the only species known with cer- 
tainty, is the Sorex Cristatus of Linnaeus, the Radiated Mole 
of Pennant. It was first described by M. de la Faille, in 
the Memoires of the French Academy for 1769. To the 
generic characters already detailed, it may be necessary 
only to add, that the fur is of the same blackish-gray, velvety 
colour as in the Mole, and that the rays round the nose are 
of rose colour. By enveloping and enclosing the nasal 
conduit, or by a contrary action, the Condylure is enabled 
to draw together or to open and spread these rays like the 
calices of a flower. The Condylure is in a small degree 
less than the Mole. 

The Condylure is an inhabitant of Canada and the United 
States, having very much the manners of the Mole. 

pars isnssffiAw ©b" esub fTa^Kaas. 

2Z&ZJ?J? C2BMJr$Td.T-4„ CUV. 

Tendon TublisTi/^ ~by &. £■ WB. Whitbzker, Septr28Z4 ■ 


t)e la Faille observed that the vertebrae of the tail in 
this animal, were particularly prominent and distinct, 
which induced Professor Illiger to name it Condylure, from 
xovSvXos nodus, and ovpn cauda, a name by no means satis- 

The long-tailed Mole of Pennant, is the species which 
Illiger cites as the example of his genus Condylure. The 
tail is half the length of the body, and as Pennant makes 
no mention of the cartilaginous rays round the nose, pro- 
bability strongly indicates that it is not allied to the Sorex 
Cristatus of Linnseus. It is known only by Pennant's descrip- 
tion, and its insertion, as a second species, is conditional, 
until more particulars can be ascertained relating to it. 

Before we conclude the insectivora, it is necessary to 
notice an additional sub-genus., formed by the discovery of 
certain animals in the island of Sumatra and Java, which 
bear a considerable resemblance to the Squirrels, in exter- 
nal form, but approximate closer to the Shrews, on the 
one hand, in the system of dentition, at least of the cheek- 
teeth, and to some of the quadrumana on the other, in the 
characters of its incisors, prominence of the eyes, elon- 
gation of the tarsus of the hind foot, and habit of life,. 
They may, consequently, be considered as bearing some 
affinity with these three genera of animals, but as the teeth 
are the most leading character, they are placed in the in- 
sectivorous division of our author's system. 

M. Diard, in 1820, first proposed the formation of this 
new genus, and having given its characteristic analogies, 
bestowed on it the name of Sorex-Glis. Sir Stamford 
Raffles published a summary description of two of these 
animals, under the generic title of Tupaia : these were the 
Tupaia Tana and the Tupaia Press; and a description of a 
third, namely, the Sorex-Glis Javanica, or Tupaia Java- 
nica, as well as the Tupaia Tana, may be found in the 

P 2 


valuable work of Dr. Horsfield, on the animals of Java, 
The name Twpaia is generic with the inhabitants of Su- 
matra, and is common to the Squirrels, and to these insec- 
tivora, inasmuch, as it is more peculiarly descriptive of the 
external form and general physiognomy of the animals. 
The admitted rules of natural history will scarcely permit 
us to retain it, as its local acceptation seems too indefinite. 

One of those species, the Tupaia Javanica, of Horsfield, 
is called the Bangsring, and Sinsring by the Javanese. This 
animal lives in the forests, on the most elevated trees, 
where it subsists on insects, small birds, fyc. Little has 
been collected concerning its habits, but we may presume 
that they bear much analogy to those of the last sub- 
divisions of the quadrumana ? more perhaps than to 
those of the insectivora, properly so called, which gene- 
rally live and seek their sustenance in a state of subter- 
ranean obscurity, or at least sheltered in retreats inac- 
cessible to the light ; while the animals in question seem 
to pursue insects, small birds, 8fc, about the tops of trees. 
It has all the teeth, says M. F. Cuvier, of the insectivora: 
its incisors exhibit the same anomaly observable in all the 
genera of this family ; nor is there less irregularity in 
its canines, than in those of the Hedgehogs, Shrews, Chry- 
sochlores, and Desmans. As for the molars, we find there 
the most exact resemblance with the above-mentioned 
genera. We have added Dr. Horsfield's figure of these 
teeth to those of the other sub-divisions of insectivora. 

The head of the Tupaia Javanica is oblong, rather de- 
pressed, and very gradually attenuated to a conical muzzle, 
which is somewhat, compressed laterally. The nose is ob- 
tuse and naked. The nostrils slightly curved, and pierced 
laterally. The upper jaw a little longer than the under. 
Slight mustachios. The eyes are very large and promi- 
nent, equidistant from the mouth and crown of the head ; 
the pupils are circular: The ears, says Dr. Horsfield, offer 
om3 peculiarities both in their disposition and form. They 


are externally provided with a large helix- which being 
margined in the upper part, passes in an angle to the 
sides, where a well-defined anthelix runs parallel to it ; 
and between both, patches of short hairs are scattered, 
without regularity: the tragus is of moderate size, and 
naked, reflected, in part, over the meatus auditorius exter- 
num, and is calculated to cover it over entirely, whenever 
the economy of the animal requires this organ to be pro- 
tected. The antitragus is naked, and occupies a consider- 
able portion of the auricular cavity. The ears are situated 
far behind. 

The feet are plantigrade, and terminated by five toes, 
armed with slender and sharp nails, which are raised, 
and appear not to wear in walking, though not retractile. 
These toes increase in size, in the following order: the 
thumb or great toe, the fifth, the second, the fourth, and the 
third. In the hinder feet, the fourth toe is the longest. 
The nose is terminated by a muzzle, divided in the centre 
by a furrow The ears are large, and provided with several 
tubercles ; these are rounded, and situated on the side of 
the head, and do not exceed it. The structure of the eyes, 
of organs of taste, and of generation, is unknown. M. Diard 
says, that there is a coecum, large eyes, four ventral mam- 
mas, long tongue, and simple stomach. 

All the body is covered with thick and soft hair, uni- 
formly brown, except that it is a little tinted with yellow 
in the upper parts, each hair being terminated with one or 
two black and yellow rings. The lower parts, under the 
jaw, the throat, breast, belly, and internal face of the limbs, 
are of a yellowish-white, and a white straight line proceeds 
from the lower part of the neck, and terminates on the 
middle of the shoulder. 

These hairs appear to be of a twofold nature, but the 
woolly are the most numerous. The silky, which exceed 
the others in length, seem all to terminate in a black point, 


and are rare in all parts. Those of the limbs and muzzle 
are much shorter than the others, and those of the tail, the 
longest of all, are divided underneath, like the barbs of a 
quill, as in the Squirrels. The skin of the naked parts, i. e.? 
of the soles of the feet, and of the ears, is flesh coloured. 

Another insectivorous member of this new sub-genus, 
(Sorex-glis) is the Press. The Press has all the generic cha- 
racters of the Bangsring, and the general physiognomy of 
that animal. It is unnecessary, therefore, to say anything 
concerning its organs of mastication, motion, and sense. 
We shall stick to its specific characters. 

The upper parts of its body are a beautiful brown maroon, 
deeper on the back than on the flanks. The hairs are, some 
black, with a fawn-coloured ring in the midle ; others red- 
dish fawn, with a black ring. The brown maroon is the pre- 
dominant colour on the back and flanks, because the reddish 
hairs are found there in the greatest numbers. But further 
back, the black hairs becoming more numerous, give to this 
part of the body a deeper and more obscure tint. The tail 
is of a grayish-brown, in consequence of the white rays 
upon its hairs, which, for the remaining part, are black. 

The breast is a whitish-yellow, which colour is mingled 
with gray on the abdomen, and internal face of the limbs. 

The colour of the head is nearly the same as that of the 
tail, but the rings are yellow, and more numerous. The ear 
is entirely covered with black hairs. 

It measures between six and seven inches from the ex- 
tremity of the nose to the root of the tail. 

We have observed that this new genus approximates 
three distinct and different genera. In the first place, con- 
tinues Dr. Horsfield, this genus agrees with the animals of 
the second family of the insectivora in the elongated form 
of its rostrum, and in certain peculiarities of its dentition. 
In the latter, it is most nearly allied to the genus Mygale. 
Mygale is also the only genus among the insectivora which 


agrees with our animal, in having, in both jaws, single 
well-defined canine teeth ; but the incisors of Tupaia differ 
essentially from those of all other animals of this family. 
As far as regards the rostrum of Tupaia, it should be ob- 
served, that although it is long and tapering, the upper 
jaw projects beyond the lower, and is not extended into a 
naked proboscis, which constitutes a peculiar character as 
well in Sorex and Mygale, as in other sub-genera of this 
family. Of other characters, it should be noticed that the 
eyes, in most of the insectivora, are minute, or scarcely 
perceptible, while in Tupaia they are large and prominent. 
The structure of the external ear is also entirely different 
in our animal ; in Sorex, for instance, in which this organ 
is most developed, the antitragus is enlarged to such a de- 
gree as to close the meatus auditorius, while the helix has 
a similar disposition, and can be folded over it as a double 
membrane. In Tupaia, on the contrary, it is in the tragus, 
which is so constructed as to afford a covering to the exter- 
nal passage, while the antitragus is a simple eminence 
in the cavity of the ear; the helix constitutes a narrow 
border, forming an extensive circuit about the auditory 
passage, and can only be elevated to regulate the admission 
of sound, without affording an additional covering as it 
<loes in Sorex. Tupaia is further destitute of these glands, 
which in Sorex and Mygale are placed in the sides of the 
body, or at the root of the tail, which by their odoriferous 
secretion, constitute a very peculiar character. 

The form and habit of the body, the length and structure 
of the extremities, and the broadness of the tail, give to 
Tupaia a physiognomy entirely different from that of the 
insectivores hitherto named, and which have led to its asso- 
ciation with the Squirrel. 

Notwithstanding, however, these aberrations from a 
common type, the teeth, and influential characters of these 
siewly-discovered animals, are all, generally speaking, insec- 


tivorous, and dictate their place in artificial arrangement. 
Similar inclinations to deviate may be observed in certain 
species throughout all the genera. 

The tail is of a grayish-brown, in consequence of the 
white rings upon its hairs, which, for the remaining part, 
are black. The breast is of a whitish-yellow, which colour 
is mingled with gray, on the abdomen, and internal face 
of the limbs. The colour of the head is nearly the same as 
that of the tail, but the rings are yellow, and more nume- 
rous. The ear is entirely covered with black hairs. The size 
of this animal is about eight inches, (French measure,) from 
the end of the muzzle to the origin of the tail. The tail 
is five. The head is two inches long, and the middle 
height is three inches, six lines. 

Sir S. Raffles has mentioned this animal in his cata- 
logue of the animals of Sumatra, published in the thirteenth 
volume of the Linncea?i Iransactions. He found it tamed, 
and living in a domestic state. It was free, would run 
through all the house, and would come of itself at every 
meal, for fruit or milk. In its wild state, this author avers 
that it lives on the fruits of the Kayo-gadis. But we may 
safely presume that it preys on insects, and other small 
animals. Its organization is a certain proof of this fact. 
Resembling the rest of the insectivora, in the organs of 
digestion and mastication, it cannot differ in its appetites, 
though it may in its habits, which may depend more exclu- 
sively on the structure of the brain than on that of the 
teeth or intestines. Its habits are the same as theBangsring. 
It is diurnal, and lives in trees, in the thick forests of 
Sumatra, which it traverses, like the Squirrels. 

Sir S. Raffles refers this animal to his genus Tupaia, 
and gives it the Latin name ferruginea, in consequence of 
its colour, which is like that of the red oxide of iron. 


Supplement on the Carnivora. 

Quitting the insectivora, we come to those races that are 
more or less decidedly carnivorous ; that will prey upon 
animals of a larger size, or gorge on carrion. Many of 
them unite, to the sanguinary appetite for flesh, the most 
cruel and unmitigated ferocity ; while others exhibit little or 
nothing of the murderous instinct, except under the goad- 
ing influence of indomitable hunger. Some also subsist much 
more exclusively on flesh than others, while many are found 
capable of being supported almost entirely on a vegetable 
diet. Among these last, are some of the first species which 
will come immediately under our review, in the brief addi- 
tions which we shall make to the text, on the family of the 


Among those, the first genus is that of the Ursi or Bears, 
and the first of which we shall speak, pursuing the order of 
the text, is the Brown Bear of Europe, or as it is sometimes 
called, the Brown Bear of the Alps and of Norway, the 
Ursus Arctos of Linnaeus. 

The Bears, with a brown fur, approaching more or less to 
black, on the one side, and, on the other hand, to fawn, or 
even a fairer hue, are so very numerous, and have been so 
much confounded together, that it is impossible to decide 
whether they belong to many, or are only varieties of a 
single species. All the critical discussions which have been 
entered into, with the view of throwing light upon this 
question, have proved nothing but the impossibility of at- 
taining the proposed object. Authors are not agreed upon 
the point, many even contradict themselves, and recent 
observations, have not been sufficiently accurate or multi- 
plied, to reconcile these conflicting authorities. Brown 
Bears appear to have been found in all parts of Europe and 


Asia, in the Molucca Islands, Mount Atlas, and the western 
regions of North America. The only mode of fixing the 
the analogies existing between animals which inhabit such 
a diverity of climates, and are exposed to such varied in- 
fluences, is evidently to describe and represent, with exact- 
ness, such specimens as are discovered, so that we may be 
able to approximate and compare them together, in all the 
details of their organization. Accordingly, we shall here 
present to our readers, M. Frederic Cuvier's description of 
two Bears, which came under his immediate inspection ; 
one was a Brown Bear from the Alps, which was adult ; 
the other, a very young Bear from Norway. 

The proportions of the first (in French measure,) were : 
From the extremity of the muzzle to the buttocks, 1 ft. 
7 in. 6 lines ; from the end of the muzzle to the oc- 
ciput, 3 ft. ; its mean height was 2 ft. 1 in. 
It was covered all over the body with very thick, long, 
and rather soft hair, generally of a maroon brown, deep on 
the shoulders, the back, thighs, and legs ; but on the sides 
of the head, ears, and flanks, tinted with yellow. On the 
paws, this hair became short, and nearly black ; as also on 
the muzzle, where, however, it retained rather more of the 
brown colour of the head. 

The circle surrounding the pupil of the eye was of the 
same colour as the fur. The sole of the hind feet was 
entirely naked, and marked with four folds, which corre- 
spond to the divisions of the toes. These last were sepa- 
rated from the sole by some hairs, and each of them was 
furnished with an elliptical tubercle. The palm of the 
fore-paws was naked only on its interior half; but behind, 
there was a naked and rounded tubercle, surrounded by 
hairs. There were three folds on the naked part, two 
which corresponded to the two internal toes, while the 
two external ones were embraced within that part circum- 
scribed by the third fold. But this part was also divided 
by a fold, cutting it obliquely from front to rear, and from 



TEISTISI of the .' (SEKUS Tumgius 


london. Published T)yCB.muttaka:Dec r M24. 


the outside to the inside. The toes were also furnished 
with elliptical tubercles. Each foot had five toes, armed 
with strong and trenchant nails. On both feet, the middle 
toe was the longest ; the others went on diminishing gra- 
dually. The eye was circular, small, and without any ac- 
cessory organ. The nostrils opened in front of a glandu- 
lous muzzle, and passed over its sides, bending convexly, 
and forming a section. The external conch of the ear was 
very simple, and rounded. The tongue was soft, narrow, 
and long. The lips were very extensible, and the muzzle 
participated in their mobility. The incisors were six in 
number, in both jaws, and the canines were as in the other 
carnassiers. There were five molars in each jaw ; two 
very small and pointed ones in the upper jaw, and three 
very large and tuberculous ones. In the lower jaw, one 
very small, and four large and tuberculous, like those 
which were opposite. These are the genuine triturating 
teeth. In the upper jaw, these teeth proceed in one in- 
creasing proportion, from the first to the last ; in the 
lower, the last but one is the largest. The one preceding 
that is less than the last, and the first is the smallest. 
This animal drank by suction, was sustained on vegetable 
substances only, which agreed with it very well, and it ate 
but a very small quantity in comparison with its size, six 
pounds of bread being found sufficient for it, while ten 
pounds of meat are usually given to a lion at a meal. Its 
walk, posteriorly, was altogether plantigrade, and all its 
movements were heavy and embarrassed. It was extremely 
malicious, and slept during a considerable portion of the 
day. Without being in a lethargic state, during the winter, 
it was observable that it ate considerably less at that season 
than any other. This animal had lived a long time in the 
pits at Berne, from whence it was brought when the French 
conquered Switzerland, to the Museum at Paris, and in 
1819, it had lived six years in the pits of the menagerie. 
The Norway Bear was presented to the royal menagerie 


of Paris in 1818. It was five weeks old when it was received 
there, and its only food was milk. Its proportions, three 
months after this period, were as follows, in French measure : 

The head from occiput to muzzle, ft. 7 in. 

Body from occiput to buttocks, 1 ft. 4 in. 

Its height in front, - - - 1 ft. 1 in. 

In the hinder part, - - - 1 ft. in. 6 lines. 
Its whole body was covered with a crisp and very thick hair, 
excepting the muzzle and paws, of a very uniform umber- 
brown. No trace of white hairs was visible. The organs of 
sense and motion, in this young animal, were already con- 
formed, similarly to those of adult Bears. It differed in 
nothing from the Alpine Bear just described, and even re- 
sembled it in disposition. Though young, on its first arrival 
at the French menagerie, and forced by its weakness to obe- 
dience, it evinced no small degree of malice ; and always 
attempted to bite when it met with any opposition. Since 
that period, the wickedness of its disposition increased. 

This young Bear was particularly fond of sucking its paws, 
during which operation it always sent forth a uniform and 
constant murmur, something like the sound of a spinning- 
wheel. This appeared to be an imperious want with it, 
and it was surprising to observe the ardour with which 
it commenced the operation, and the enjoyment which it 
seemed to derive from it. The belief, which once so gene- 
rally obtained, that these animals, during the season which 
they pass without eating, and surrounded by snows, support 
themselves by sucking their paws, seems not utterly with- 
out foundation. In truth, every natural action must have 
a tendency to some useful end, though it has not been ob- 
served that the Bear extracts anything from its paws by the 
act of suction. After all, it is more probable that Bears 
lick their paws, as cats do, from a love of cleanliness, or 
merely in consequence of some pleasing sensation which 
nature has attached to the act, for inexplicable reasons, 
rather than for sustenance. 


Both sexes retire in the winter, and the period of parturi- 
tion with the female is in spring, after a gestation of seven 
months. She produces from one to five at a birth. 

We have observed that Bears feed chiefly on vegetable 
substances, and may consequently be considered as semi- 
carnivorous. They will, notwithstanding, at times destroy 
the poultry, fyc, in a farm-yard, and sometimes they sub- 
sist on fish. They are also very fond of honey, and not- 
withstanding the clumsiness of their conformation, exhibit 
a considerable degree of agility in mounting trees in search 
of it. Their mode of fighting is chiefly by seizing their 
adversary, and squeezing him between the arms and breast 
until they have deprived him of life. They never attack man 
except under the influence of severe hunger ; and it is re- 
ported that, when so pressed, they will associate together 
in search of animal food. 

Major Hamilton Smith (to whose researches natural his- 
tory is so deeply indebted) made a drawing of an Euro- 
pean Bear at Dresden, which seems to be, if not a distinct 
species, at least a strongly-marked variety. It was about 
four feet high at the shoulders. The physiognomy differed 
from that of the common Bear. The ears were small and 
round, and the facial line was greatly depressed at the 
junction of the nasal and frontal bones. The colour, was 
a fiery yellow on the head and back, passing into chestnut 
and red on the sides and hams. The belly and paws were 
brown, and there was a dark streak upon the nose spread- 
ing into branches towards the orbits. The general form of 
the animal was extremely clumsy. 

The same gentleman also took a drawing of a specimen 
at Buda, in Hungary, of a Bear which appeared about forty 
years ago on the shores of the Danube, in Upper Hungary. 
This animal was uncommonly large, and had proved exces- 
sively destructive to the cattle, consequently every effort 
was made to seize or destroy it. But shot appeared to take 


no effect upon him, and when hard pressed he would swinl 
to the other side of the Danube, and resume his depreda- 
tions there until chased back again. In this manner he 
was fairly hunted into Lower Hungary, having travelled 
most of his way by water. From Semlin he was chased 
beyond Belgrade, but the Turkish peasantry drove him 
back, and it was many months before he was killed. Be- 
sides the peculiarity of his excessive bulk, his colour was 
purpurescent, and several balls were found lodged in his 
skin. Although the Bear is not uncommon in Hungary* 
his extraordinary colour and bulk excited so much curiosity, 
that he was stuffed and preserved at Buda. 

Before we quit the European Bears, it will be necessary 
to say something of the Black Bear of Europe. Though 
the Baron speaks with some uncertainty on this point in the 
present work; yet in the" Ossemens Fossiles," he seems 
pretty well decided as to the distinction of species. It is 
our duty, therefore, to present to the reader the substance 
of his opinion on the subject. 

All the terrestrial Bears of Europe he thinks reducible to 
two species, different in their general forms, and more espe- 
cially in the conformation of the crania ; and one of those 
species he considers divisible into many varieties, founded 
on the character and colour of the fur. 

In the first of these (which we have already noticed) the 
upper part of the cranium is arched in every part. The 
forehead forms a part of the same curve which prevails 
from the muzzle to the occiput. It is arched also from 
right to left in the same style as in its length, and there is 
no clear distinction between the forehead, the middle por- 
tion of the parietal bones, and the temporal fosses. The 
sagittal crest only begins to be sensibly marked very near 
the occipital. 

In the other species, the frontal portion is flattened and 
even concave, especially crosswise. The two ridges which 


separate it from the fossse temporales, are strongly marked, 
and form behind an acute angle prolonged into a very ele- 
vated sagittal crest, which is not furnished until it meet s 
the occipital. 

Of the first of these species sufficient has been said: of 
the second, the Baron says, that he never saw more than a 
single living individual, which he afterwards dissected. It 
was of considerable magnitude ; the skin was of a brown 
black, rather rough, partly woolly, and long, especially on 
the belly and thighs. The upper part of the nose was a clear 
fawn-colour, and the remainder of the muzzle of a brownish 
red fawn. This the Baron believes to be the Bear to which 
naturalists have given the name of the Black Bear of Eu- 
rope, and it must not be confounded with the Black Bear 
of America, whose fur is black, pliant, and shining. The 
peculiar and flattened form of the cranium can be perceived 
through the hairs which cover it, quite sufficiently to dis- 
tinguish the animal from the common Brown Bear. 

The Baron has seen skeletons of the same species, which, 
with some unimportant deviations, preserved in the main 
the characters above described. He is unable to point out 
the strict habitat of the animal, or any of its variations as 
to shades of colour or other accidents. He is certified, 
however, that the characters we have noticed are not the 
result of age or sex ; for he possesses crania of the other 
species of both sexes, and equally adult with those which 
he has seen of the second. 

Judging from the form of the cranium, the size of the 
temporal fossse, the strong points of attachment furnished 
by the crests to the crotaphite muscles, the Baron is per- 
suaded that the Black Bear of Europe is more decidedly 
carnivorous than the other species. If the contrary opi- 
nion has generally prevailed, it is owing to the confusion 
of this species with the Black Bear of America, which in 
its native country appears to live for the most part on fruits 


and fish. But the fact is that all the Bears are omnivo* 
rous; and in the menageries, all of them, even the Polar 
Bear, to which so marked a character for cruelty has been 
given, are fed with bread alone, and that without sustain- 
ing the least detriment. For more than twenty years in 
the French menagerie, the Bears have been supported on 
no other regimen. In truth, the cheek-teeth of the Bears, 
fiat and tuberculous like those of Man and the Simiae, and 
never trenchant like those of Lions and Wolves, would lead 
us a priori to the conclusion, that they were destined to 
make use of every kind of aliment. 

A third species, according to the Baron, is the Black 
Bear of America, which, though bearing some affinity with 
the last, is nevertheless very clearly distinguished from it 
by characters of sufficient certainty. 

The osseous head is shorter in proportion to its bulk, and 
the zygomatic arches, being less convex and less separated 
from the cranium, leave consequently less volume to the 
crotaphite muscle. This explains, to a certain extent, the 
fact attested by all travellers, of the milder disposition ge- 
nerally evinced by this species. On the other hand, its 
forehead is arched like that of the Brown Bear, not flat and 
concave as in the black, and yet the temporal crests are 
well marked, and meet in sufficient time to form a sagittal, 
which occupies as great a portion of the cranium as in the 
Black Bear of Europe. 

It may be remarked that in both species, as indeed in all 
the Carnassiers, the sagittal crest increases in length with 
age, because the crotaphite muscles grow more bulky, 
and produce more marked impressions. This, however, 
does not affect the question of the distinction laid clown 
above, between the Black and Brown Bear, as the latter at 
no period of life possesses a long sagittal crest. All the 
fur is black excepting on the muzzle. The skin is first co- 
vered by a very copious wool of a reddish black, and the 


hairs silken, pliant, reddish at their origin, and finally of a 
brilliant black, entirely conceal the first, from which results 
a very thick and luxuriant fur. The muzzle is of a fawn 
colour, more or less grayish on the sides of the mouth. In 
some individuals white fur is found on the breast. In 
youth it is more of a chocolate brown, and at a certain age 
it is covered with a gray down before it assumes its fine 
black colour. The young are of a clear, uniform, cinereous 

BufFon at first regarded the Black Bear of America as a 
simple variety of the Brown Bear of Europe ; but after- 
wards, having seen an individual of this species at the me- 
nagerie of Chantilly, he formed a juster notion of it, though 
he did not make it a distinct species. It was Pallas who 
first recognised its characters, and since his time the species 
has been adopted. 

The generality of travellers who have visited North 
America speak of this Bear. By amalgamating the sub- 
stance of their various reports, a natural history of this 
species has been obtained, very nearly as minutely detailed 
as that of the Bear which inhabits our European moun- 

The Black Bear of America, in its mode of life and sub- 
sistence, exhibits much affinity with the Brown Bear of 
Europe. It inhabits the recesses of the forests, and the 
wildest tracks of the country, and seldom approaches culti- 
vated and peopled regions, except when the rigour of the 
season deprives it of all sustenance in its ordinary quarters. 
It feeds on fruits, roots, insects, flesh, and even fish, of 
which last it is reported to be extremely fond, and it descends 
to the borders of lakes, and to the sea-shore in pursuit of 
its favourite diet. \t never attacks the larger animals or 
man, except when severely pressed by hunger. Its move- 
ments, like those of the Brown Bear, are heavy and awk- 
ward, but it climbs trees with facility, and swims well. In 
Vol. II. Q 


its excursions it always follows the same paths, which thus 
in time become so well beaten, that the Indians follow them 
to hunt the animal in his retreats. 

In our climates, it is generally the season which deter- 
mines the epoch and the duration of the retirement of the 
Bears. The case is not precisely similar with the Black 
Bears of America. When the winter commences in the 
most northern parts, the Bears which inhabit these regions 
abandon them, and betake themselves to a less rigorous cli- 
mate, where they remain as long as the season obliges them. 
They choose a shelter, either in the trunk of some hollow 
tree, or under the projection of some jutting rock. They 
furnish it with dry leaves, and soon fall into a lethargic 
sleep, from which nothing awakes them but the return of 
spring. They descend no further to the south than the la- 
titude of the Floridas, and to the west they proceed as far 
as the Pacific Ocean. 

About the month of June, the Black Bears are in heat. 
During this period they grow excessively thin, and the In- 
dians will not touch their flesh ; they are also much more 
dangerous to meet at this time than any other. Gestation 
lasts about six months, and in January or February the 
cubs are born. They are about six or eight inches long, 
covered with hairs, have the eyes closed, and are devoid of 
teeth. Their nails, however, are very much developed. 
The gray tint, we have mentioned, of their fur continues for 
the first year, and they are suckled for six months. The 
moulting takes place in spring and autumn, and all the 
hairs fall almost about the same time. 

The hunting of this species was formerly much more pro- 
ductive than at present. The fur of these animals was 
formerly preferred by the Indians, but since the Europeans 
have established themselves in the northern parts of Ame- 
rica, the hunting of the Bear has been neglected for that 
of the Castor, The flesh, however, is still much sought 


after, especially that of the feet, which is in high request, 
and the fat is a perfect bonne bouche for the savage hordes 
of these countries. The chase of the Bear is accompanied 
among the Indians with many superstitious observances, 
which are minutely detailed by Father Charlevoix ; but an 
account of them would be better adapted to illustrate the 
history of uncivilized man, than that of the animal at 
present in question. 

The Black Bear of America does not appear to possess 
the same degree of docility and intelligence as the Brown 
Bear of Europe. He does not minister like his congener to 
the purposes of curiosity or amusement, and is never exhi- 
bited dancing to the sound of the flageolet and tambourine. 
M. F. Cuvier remarks, that among the different species of 
Bears presented in the pits of the Parisian menagerie to 
the curiosity and whims of the public, the Black Bears of 
America seemed to profit the least by the education which 
they might have thus received, and were found less to en- 
gage the interest and attention of the spectators. They 
attained, however to the comprehension of certain signs ; 
they lay down, rose up, and turned to the right or left at 
the word of command. But the Brown Bears did much 
more ; and Monsieur Martin (of whom all Europe has heard) 
has acquired no less celebrity by his intelligence and ad- 
dress than by his cruelty. 

In the organs of sense, motion, and generation, these 
Bears resemble the brown, as also in their gait and habit 
of body. Their voice resembles groaning, more or less 
violent according to the strength of their sensations. 

Among many adult individuals which the Baron observed, 
two resembled each other entirely. They were male and 
female ; the muzzle was a deep brown above, and a grayish 
fawn colour at the sides. A small fawn-coloured spot was 
in front of the eye ; all the rest was of a fine shining black. 
A third, which died of illness, had the hair a little more 

Q 2 


brown and less smooth, and the spot on the eye was less 
marked. A fourth was of the finest black, without any 
such spot. The muzzle was brown above, and the edges 
of the lips whitish. Two whitish lines occupied the region 
of the sternum between the fore-legs, forming the resem- 
blance of an H. This Bear the Baron regards as an indi- 
vidual variety. 

Our author remarks a fifth, which he considers a still 
more marked variety. The black is remarkably fine ; the 
muzzle a clear fawn colour. A white spot is on the top of 
the head, and a white line commencing on the root of the 
nose proceeds on each side to. the angle of the mouth, and 
continues over the cheek to a large white space mixed with 
a little fawn, which occupies the entire throat, and of which 
a narrow line descends upon the breast. It is the Ours 
Gulaire of M. Geotfroi. 

The Baron also thinks that the Yellow Bear of Carolina 
is a variety of the same species. This is scientifically 
termed the Ursus Luteolus. We shall not venture to assert, 
in contradiction to the authority of the Baron, that this 
Bear forms a distinct species, but assuredly it is a very 
strongly-marked variety. Major Smith took a sketch of 
one at New York ; the specimen was semi-adult. He does 
not consider that there is sufficient proof of its being a dis- 
tinct species. In the specimen drawn by the Major there 
was a greater convexity of forehead, and a sharper nose 
than in the Black Bear. This comparison was easily made, 
as the two animals were chained very near each other. 
The ears of the Yellow Bear stood more back, were not 
quite so large, and the physiognomy was very different*. 
Both were remarkably tame. Although the Yellow Bear 
cannot be affirmed to be specifically different, yet it is cer- 
tain that there is a distinct race of these animals. They 

* It must be remembered tbat this speeimen of the Ursus Luteolus was 
but semi-adult. P. 

SWS FEM.OK, Lewis W Clark. V. CM 

'WS, Ifamil+p-n Smith. 

\cncUeer del' it fhcz'i, Ts\ 

Lm,7 071:1^17,:,..?,, ,? fa i-.B mritt.>7;,r?;M<n-c/ 


were formerly common in Virginia, and they are still abun- 
dant in North Western Louisiana, where they are called 
White Bears, and are said to feed chiefly on honey, on 
acorns of a large size, wild berries, 8$c. Both this and the 
Black Bear are far from disliking animal food, especially 
the flesh of the Hog, which they probably prefer on account 
of the fat, and the facility with which they can overtake 
the animal. The young Fawn is likewise hunted by these 
Bears; but notwithstanding their acute smell, they cannot 
follow its track, as the musky secretion in the hoof, which 
occasions the scent, does not take place until the Fawn be- 
comes adult. 

The Cinnamon Bear in the Tower appears to be of the 
same race as this Yellow Bear. The Major, however, re- 
marks, that it is a received opinion that the Black Bears 
occasionally produce white or fawn-coloured cubs ; and 
after all the Yellow Bear may be nothing more than an 
albino variety, such as are constantly springing up in the 
human and many other species. 

There is another of the American Bears, which, from all 
accounts, we have every reason to consider as a distinct 
species. It exceeds, in size, ferocity, and strength, both 
the last-mentioned Bears, and seems, in truth, to be an un- 
commonly fierce and cruel animal. This is the Grisly Bear, 
(Ursus candescens, Smith.) Lewis and Clarke, in their tra- 
vels, have given a number of interesting adventures, hair- 
breadth escapes, and surprising anecdotes, relative to the 
North American Bear ; but as they have not stated any 
satisfactory anatomical particulars, and as there is much 
uncertainty, and some confusion, in their work, it is 
extremely difficult to determine as to the identity or dis- 
tinctness of species in the several individuals which they 
mention. Many species of this genus, according to them, 
are to be found in the Arctic regions of America, endowed 
with great strength, and corresponding ferocity. But it 


seems most probable, that these are individual varieties, 
distinguished by different shades of colour. Yet, still we 
think that this Grisly Bear, which differs so considerably in 
size and ferocity from the rest, may, at least, until we have 
more complete information on the subject,be set down, 
provisionally, as a distinct species. 

These American travellers, from actual observation, and 
also from the information which they derived from the In- 
dians, seem to be of opinion that there are two species of the 
Bear in the New World, distinct from the common Black 
Bear of America. The first is theWhite or Grisly Bear, under 
which, they include the pure white, the deep, and the pale 
grisly red, the grisly dark-brown, and, in short, all those in 
which, be the ground-colour what it may, the extremities 
of the hairs have a white or frosty appearance. The se- 
cond species consists of those individuals, in which the 
black or reddish-brown is intermixed with a few entire 
white hairs, or which have a white breast, or are of an 
uniform bay, brown, or light reddish-brown. Where these 
two species abound, the common American Bear does not 
inhabit. The last- mentioned of the two species of Lewis 
and Clarke, may be referred to those varieties of the Ursus 
Americanus, mentioned by the Baron, in his " Ossemens 
Fossiles," and which we have already presented to the 

Major Smith has made two drawings of these animals ; 
one was from a stuffed specimen at Philadelphia, which was 
sent from the Missouri country, by Messrs. Lewis and 
Clarke. The animal was clumsy and compact, and the 
hairs on the neck and back were tipped with white. Ano- 
ther is from a specimen brought from Hudson's Bay, 
which was in the Tower. This last was more slender, and 
better proportioned than the other, very active, and exceed- 
ingly fierce. It was three feet, three inches in height, from 
the shoulder, and appeared to be adult. The teeth of these 


specimens were similar, and both wanted the usual num- 
ber of the small cheek-teeth, which immediately follow the 
canine teeth, in the common species ; this last, however, 
canno be insisted on as a distinctive character, inasmuch 
as these teeth are so liable to fall in all the ursine genus. 

The second of these seems to be the black variety men- 
tioned by Lewis and Clarke. Difference of colour alone, 
more especially in the animals of very northen climates, is 
no sufficient criterion of the distinction of species. Until 
more decided and anatomical characters are pointed out, 
we think that the safest conclusion is, that there is but one 
species of this ferocious Bear, which may branch into two 
principal varieties, and each again subject to slight varia- 
tions of colour. Major Smith has, indeed, very happily 
applied the epithet candescens to all of them ; for, let the 
main colour be what it may, there is always observed a ten- 
dency to whiteness in greater or less degrees. From the 
ferocious character of this animal, it has also received the 
epithet of Ursus Ferox. 

" On one occasion, Captain Lewis, who was on shore with 
a hunter, met two White Bears. He says, " of the strength 
and ferocity of this animal, the Indians had given us dread- 
ful accounts : they never attack him but in parties of six 
or eight persons, and, even then, are often defeated, with 
the loss of one or more of their number. 

" Having no weapons but bows and arrows, and the bad 
guns with which the traders supply them, they are obliged 
to approach very near to the Bear ; and as no wound, 
except through the head or heart, is mortal, they frequently 
fall a sacrifice if they miss their aim. He rather attacks 
than avoids a man ; and such is the terror which he has 
inspired, that the Indians, who go in quest of him, paint 
themselves, and perform all the superstitious rites custo- 
mary when they make war upon a neighbouring nation. 
Hitherto, those we had seen, did not appear desirous of 


encountering us ; but although, to a skilful rifleman, the 
danger is much diminished, yet the White Bear is still a 
terrible animal." 

On approaching these two, Captain Lewis and the hunter 
fired, and each wounded a bear ; one of them made his 
escape ; the other turned upon Captain Lewis, and pur- 
sued him seventy or eighty yards, but being badly wounded, 
he could not run so fast as to prevent him from re-loading 
his piece, which he again aimed at him, and a third shot, 
from the hunter, brought him to the ground. 

Another instance is recorded, by these travellers, of the 
tenacity of life in this species. An individual received five 
balls through his lungs, and five other wounds ; notwith- 
standing which, he swam more than half across a river to a 
sand-bar, and survived more than twenty minutes. He 
weighed between five and six hundred pounds, and mea- 
sured eight feet, seven inches and a half, from the nose to 
the extremity of the hind feet; five feet, ten inches, and 
a half, round the breast ; three feet, eleven inches, round 
the neck ; one foot, eleven inches, round the middle of 
the fore-leg ; and his claws, five on each foot, were four 
inches and three-eighths in length. A specimen of this 
species is now in the Tower, which is engraved, to illus- 
trate this description. 

As there are very few genera among the mammalia, more 
natural than that of the Bears, so, by a necessary conse- 
quence, are there none of which it is more difficult to mark 
the specific distinctions. Accordingly, we find that the 
Polar Bear, (Ursus Maritimus,) had always received his 
proper generic appellation ; yet his specific characters re- 
mained long unestablished, and naturalists were uncertain, 
if he should be considered as a distinct species from the 
others, or merely an albino variety of the common Brown 
Bear. B.uffon, at first, as we may see, in his fifteenth vo- 
lume, entertained this very doubt, having no other means 

mRsrs MAxmMws . x . 

Zcndon. Fuilufad by G.F.Wiutater. 'Feb? .1825 . 


of judging on the subject than the lights afforded him by 
the accounts of travellers. When Collinson, however, had 
sent him a figure of this bear, he then decided, from the 
conformation of the head, that it must be a distinct species, 
essentially differing from the Brown Bear of Europe. Pal- 
las, afterwards, confirmed this opinion, by an attentive ex- 
amination of a young individual of this species ; and since 
that time, the Polar Bear has been generally admitted into 
s) r stematic catalogues, under the specific denomination of 
the Ursus Maritimus. In fact, although this Bear has a 
general resemblance of exterior to the Brown Bear, and is 
also pretty similiar in the details of its organization, in the 
instruments of sense and motion, yet it is so different in 
the forms of the head and proportions of the neck, that 
nothing could authorize the supposition of identity of spe- 
cies. In the Brown Bear, the muzzle is separated from 
the forehead by a profound depression, while, in the Polar 
Bear, these two parts of the head are nearly on the same 
line. The front of the Common Bear is rounded, that of 
the Polar Bear is flat. This last has the head narrow, and 
the muzzle broad ; the other has the head broad, and the 
muzzle narrow. The Polar Bear is also still further cha- 
racterized, by the length of his body in comparison of 
his height, by the length of his neck, by the small extent of 
the auditory conch, and by the length of the sole of the 
foot, which forms, according to the Baron, one sixth of the 
length of the entire body ; whereas, in the Brown Bear, it 
forms but one-tenth. The Polar Bear is, finally, distin- 
guished by the length and fineness of his fur. 

M. F. Cuvier describes an individual which was in the 
Parisian menagerie, in 1795. His length, from the extre- 
mity of the muzzle to the posterior part of the body, was 
about five feet eight inches. But he had not attained the 
stature of his species, in consequence of constant confine- 
ment ; for their usual length is from seven to eight feet. 


One which was killed by the crew of Captain Ross, and 
whose skin has been deposited in the British Museum, 
measured seven feet eight inches from snout to tail ; and 
its weight, after a loss of blood, estimated at thirty pounds, 
was 11311 lbs. 

The one, of which we first spoke, was entirely covered 
with a white fur, composed of very long and thick silky 
hairs, except on the head and limbs, where the covering was 
short, and composed of woolly hairs, forming a thick stuff, 
well adapted to resist the impressions of cold. The muzzle, 
the tongue, the skin of the eyelids, and the claws, were 
black. The skin of the lips and mouth was of a violet- 
black. These colours did not change, and were the same 
at all seasons. 

This Bear was fed with nothing but bread ; of this he 
consumed only six pounds daily, and yet was always very 
fat. This seems to prove that, as to diet, the appetites of 
this whole genus are similar, and that the Bears can with 
no propriety be divided into frugivorous and carnivorous. If 
the Polar Bear, to the travellers who first met him, appeared 
eager for flesh, it was evidently because the high latitudes 
which he inhabits afforded him no other sustenance. Bears, 
like other animals, will choose, by preference, the species 
of nutriment to which they have been accustomed. This 
accounts for the fact, that some Bears are extremely dan- 
gerous enemies both to man and animals, while others 
pass them by with apparent contempt. Thus, the Polar 
Bears, accustomed to fish, will pass by flocks and herds 
without attacking them, unless they are stimulated by very 
violent hunger. 

This Bear, of which we have been speaking, like all 
others of the tribe, possessed the sense of smelling in great 
perfection, but his powers of vision were but feeble. His 
hearing seemed little less developed than his sight ; and 
nourished always on one kind of aliment, it was not pro- 


bable that he had much acuteness or discrimination of 
taste. It would seem that these observations are tolerably 
applicable to the entire species, and that, with the excep- 
tion of smell, all the other senses of the Polar Bears are 
somewhat obtuse. 

This animal seemed to suffer extremely from heat, and 
for the purpose of cooling him, his keepers, in summer, 
would throw large quantities of water upon his body, 
which he appeared to receive with an extraordinary degree 
of pleasure. He was never tamed, and always would endea- 
vour to hurt those who approached him. s He did not attack 
openly, or with menaces, but endeavoured to wound with 
his paw and claws. His voice was never heard, except 
when he was provoked to anger, by teasing, and then it was 
strong and hoarse, and always of the same tone. The only 
influence which the winter season possessed over him, was 
to diminish the need of aliment. It did not plunge him 
into the torpid lethargy into which he would have fallen 
under the rigours of a polar winter. 

The gait of the Polar Bears is heavy, like that of all plan- 
tigrades, but they swim well, and dive for a considerable 
time. In the water, they can be fatigued by a long chase. 
Their ordinary aliment is fish, the flesh of the seal, and all the 
animal substances which the sea is continually casting upon 
its shores. We are told, that when shoals of fish are passing, 
these Bears will follow them in a troop ; but, without doubt, 
their usual habits, like those of all their congeners, are 
solitary. When the winter arrives, and their time of sleep 
approaches, they choose the hollow of a rock, a place sunk 
in the snow, or an opening in a flake of ice, and there they 
sleep until the sun of the returning spring awakens them 
with his reviving beam. During this time of sleep, consi- 
derable masses of snow accumulate upon them, and pre- 
serve them from the excess of the cold, which would other- 


wise, without doubt, destroy them. When they sally from 
their retreat, in about five or six months, they seem ex- 
tremely in want of nourishment, and it is not a little dan- 
gerous to meet them at that period. Captain Ross, in the 
account of his Voyage of Discovery to the Arctic Regions, 
states, that he received a message from one of the whalers, 
he fell in with, requesting surgical assistance for the 
master, whose thigh had been very severely lacerated by a 
wounded Bear, which had attacked and dragged him out of 
the boat. The animal was pierced by three lances before 
he would relinquish his hold ; when, disengaging himself 
from the weapons, he swam to the ice, and made off. 

This species of Bear is found only on the shores of the 
Frozen Ocean, and it never descends, but by accident, from 
those inhospitable regions. Sometimes, in spring, when 
the ice is detached from the coasts, they have been known to 
arrive in Norway, on the floating flakes. But, in general, 
they are not found to establish themselves on this side of 
the Arctic circle. The males first quit their retreats, and it 
is at this period that the females are delivered of their 
young, (generally two at a birth,) which are nursed by 
them with the greatest care, to the following winter. We 
are assured, by travellers, that they even carry them on 
their backs in swimming, or when the young are tired, 
after the manner of Swans, and many other Water-Fowl. 

Another species, which we owe to the researches of Sir 
T. S. Raffles, is the Ursus Malay anus. He observes, that 
" this deserves to be ranked as a distinct species from 
the Common Bear, and from that of the continent of India. 
The most striking difference is in the comparative short- 
ness of the hair, and the fineness and glossiness of the fur, 
in which particular, it appears to resemble the American 
Bear. It is further remarkable in having a large heart- 
shaped spot of white on the breast. The muzzle is of a 

Tw,m wa,iuaw miEAm, 


T.Zafndsser. de£. ct i 

londm, Published by C.B.mittaka:Dcc r 1824.. 


ferrug-ineous colour. It stands lower, but is a stouter and 
better proportioned animal than the Common Bear*." 

When taken young, they become very tame. One lived 
for two years in Sir T. S. Raffles' possession, and that 
gentleman adds, " He was brought up in the nursery with 
the children, and when admitted to my table, as was fre- 
quently the case, gave a proof of his taste, by refusing to eat 
any fruit but mangosteens, or to drink any wine but cham- 
pagne. The only time I knew him to be out of humour, 
was on an occasion when no champagne was forth-coming. 
He was naturally of a playful and affectionate disposition, 
and it was never found necessary to chain or chastise him. 
It was usual for this Bear, the Cat, the Dog, and a small 
blue Mountain-Bird, or Lory of New Holland, to meet to- 
gether, and eat out of the same dish. His favourite play- 
fellow was the Dog, whose teasing and worrying was always 
borne, and returned with the utmost good-humour and 
playfulness. As he grew up, he became a very powerful 
animal ; and in his rambles in the garden, he would lay hold 
of the largest plantains, the stems of which he could 
scarcely embrace, and tear them up by the roots." 

A stuffed specimen of this animal was presented, by 
Lady Banks, to the British Museum. 

A fine specimen of this species is now in possession of 
Mr. Cops, at the Tower, which we have engraved, from a 
drawing by Mr. T. Landseer. It came from Borneo. 

The head of this individual is remarkably thick, much 
more so than in the other species of Bears ; the neck, also, is 
very short and thick, so that the head, neck, and body alto- 
gether, are nearly cylindrical. The colour of the muzzle is 
dirty-yellow. The eyes extremely small, have the iris ap- 
proaching a pale-lilac colour, with a very small circular 
black pupil. The snout, which is truncated, is terminated 
by a moveable fleshy elongation, extending beyond the 

* Linnfean Trans, vol. xii. p. 1. 


extremity of the lower jaw, but this elongation does 
by no means appear to form a foliaceous appendage. Be- 
tween the upper lip and the nostrils, there seems to be 
a deep incision, in the form of a horse-shoe, within which 
the nostrils are pierced ; the upper or thickest part of the 
head measures about twenty-two inches vertically round ; 
the length, from nose to tail, is nearly three feet. This 
is a female. 

The patch on the throat is yellow, with a tinge of red, 
with several irregular blackish spots. 

The hasty view that could be obtained of the teeth, when 
the animal was occasionally induced to open its mouth, 
was, however, perhaps sufficient to enable us to say, that the 
system of dentition is ursine, and fully to evince that the 
animal is not edentatous, though she is exhibited under 
the name of the five-fingered Sloth. 

Whether the differences between this specimen and those 
previously described, are merely individual, or whether 
they constitute this a variety of Borneo, we cannot de- 

The Indian Bear, at the Tower, is very full of action, 
though' its movements may be called slow and measured. 
With all its muscular clumsiness, it appears to have a sort 
of suppleness of joint, as it assumes various and very an- 
tic postures. Its favourite position, however, appears to 
be that represented in the plate, of sitting on its haunches, 
and thrusting out its long, narrow tongue, to a very extra- 
ordinary length. 

It will eat flesh and fruit, but is kept entirely on bread 
and milk, eating about two pounds a day. 

The last of the living species of Bears which we shall 
describe is the Ursus Labiatus, placed erroneously by^Pen- 
nant and others among the Sloths, under the name of the 
Ursine Sloth. Though multiplicity of sinonimes is as 
much as possible to be avoided, in zoology, from the confu- 


sion it creates, it would be highly improper to retain the 
English name adopted by these gentlemen, and we shall 
therefore take the liberty of calling this animal the Thick- 
lipped Bear. 

In speaking of the Brown Bear, we remarked the diffi- 
culty of distinguishing the various species of this genus 
Ursus, and the state of ignorance in which we yet are con- 
cerning them. It appears evident that they are now spread 
through almost all the countries of the world, a fact in 
utter contradiction to the opinion formerly received on this 
subject. The Bears, indeed, appeared so essentially consti- 
tuted to inhabit the coldest climates, that they were con- 
ceived to be exclusively peculiar to them, and the possibility 
of their existence in countries within the tropics was de- 
nied. At the present day, however, it is clearly decided 
that these animals belong to one of those cosmopolite ge- 
nera, the privileged species of which may be found in every 
latitude, and can support every degree of temperature. 

That Bears were to be found in Southern Asia was 
known for some time previous to their being admitted into 
our scientific catalogues. Marsden, in his History of Su- 
matra, tells us of a Bear of this country called Brourong. 
Williamson, in his Oriental Field Sports, gave a figure of 
a Bear in the peninsula of India. Peron made a commu- 
nication to the Baron of the existence of these animals in 
the Gattes mountains ; and M. F. Cuvier received an ac- 
count from M. Leschenault of a Bear which he had seen at 
Java, of the middle size, and with a yellowish spot on the 
neck, like a gorget. This last was evidently the Ursus 
Malayanus, just described. It was not imagined by natu- 
ralists that one of these very Bears had lived in Europe, 
had been drawn, and a description of it published. This cir- 
cumstance is worthy of attention, for while it demonstrates 
an error not likely to be renewed, it also proves the progress 
which naturalists have made in the knowledge of the Mam- 


malia. This animal was not recognised as a Bear. De- 
prived of his incisors by the effects of age, he seemed to 
belong to the order of the Edentata, and the genus of the 
Sloths, and his figure was published as we have seen under 
the name of Bradypus. This error also shews the bigotted 
spirit in which the Linnaean system was applied, and how 
far the admission of arbitrary authority and rules into 
sciences which depend on observation is calculated to mis- 
lead and even paralyze the judgment. The story is worth 
recording : — • 

In the year 1790, an old individual which had lost the 
incisor teeth was shewn in England. Arbitrary systems so 
much prevailed here at that time, that Pennant and Shaw, 
founding their opinion on this accidental loss of the inci- 
sors, pronounced the animal to be a Sloth, and called it 
Bradypus Ursinus, at the same time that they could not 
have avoided observing that in its motions it had nothing 
analogous to the genus in which they placed it. Illiger, 
following their notions, formed of it his genus Prochylus. 

Mr. F. Buchanan, in his Journey from Madras through 
the Countries of Mysore, fyc, published in 1807, was the first 
to announce that this pretended Sloth was no other than a 
Bear of the Indian mountains. There is in the Museum of 
the College of Surgeons, the cranium of the individual 
above-mentioned, and which has all the generic characters 
of the Ursus deprived of its incisive teeth, the alceoli of 
which, however, are perfectly visible. MM. de Blamville 
and Tiedman confirmed the observation of Mr. Buchanan. 
The first gave it the name of Ursus Labiatus, the second of 
Ursus Longirostris. Previous to a more particular descrip- 
tion of this animal, we may as well notice that it is the 
opinion of M. Alfred Duvaucel, that there are two other 
species of Indian Bears. One is the Malayanus, which we 
have described ; the other has been seen only in Nepaul 
and the mountains of Silhet by MM. Wallich and Duvancel, 


and the Baron has given it the name of Ursus Tibe- 

We cannot fix the characters of the Ursus Labiatus bet- 
ter than by presenting our readers with the substance of 
M. A. Duvau eel's observations concerning these three spe- 
cies ; and though we have already treated of one of them, 
yet the comparative view which this gentleman gives of 
the three renders their characteristics more obvious, and 
enables us to mark with greater precision the differences 
by which they are distinguished. 

" The analogy which prevails between these three Bears, 
and the uncertainty which still exists relative to those of 
the old continent, cause me to hope," says M. D. to the 
Baron, " that you will receive with interest some compa- 
rative observations which may tend to give them a more 
specific character. Their difference, which chiefly consists 
in the conformation of crania, though less sensible else- 
where, nevertheless extends through the whole of their or- 
ganization. In the feet, in the fur, in the proportions of 
the limbs, many characters may be recognised alike inva- 
riable and unequivocal. 

" The largest of the three (Ursus Labiatus) has a thick 
and still most singularly elongated muzzle. The head is 
small, and the ears are large ; but the hair on the muzzle, 
at first smooth and even, grows suddenly rough around the 
head as far as the height of the ears, and completely buries 
them under a thick fur, and augments considerably the vo- 
lume of the head. The cartilage of the nose consists of a 
large plate, almost plane, and possessing great mobility. 
The end of the lower lip, in all the specimens which I have 
seen, goes beyond the upper, and moves equally by contrac- 
tion, by elongation, or in a lateral direction. This gives 
to the animal a physiognomy (as M. D. happily expresses 
it) of stupid animation. Its limbs are elevated, its body 
long, and its motions easy. These characters are more or 

Vol. II. R 


less disguised by the length of the hair, which in old indi- 
viduals almost touches the ground. Its breast is orna- 
mented with a large white spot not unlike a horse-shoe 
reversed, two branches of which extend over the arms. 
This Bear, which appears more docile, more intelligent, 
and more common in Bengal than the other species, is 
educated and exhibited by the jugglers for the amusement 
of the people. It is often met in the mountains of Silhet, 
in the environs of inhabited places, and the general opi- 
nion of the people is that it is exclusively frugivorous. 

" The smallest species is about six times less than the 
preceding. Its head is round, the forehead large, and 
the muzzle very short. The cartilage of the nostrils is 
rounded, and possesses very little mobility. The ears are 
small, but more apparent, and situated lower down than 
the others. The tail is scarcely visible, the fur is smooth, 
shining, and tight over the body as well as the head. A 
spot of pale fawn-colour is observable above its eyes, which 
disappears with increasing years. The muzzle is red, 
more or less deep; and the pectoral spot, equally red, pre- 
sents on all the individuals an imperfect figure of a large 
heart. This species, though the specimens of it are rare 
everywhere, has yet a very extensive habitat. It is also 
the most delicate, and subject to the greatest number of 
varieties. The smallest come from Pegu ; the largest are 
found in the island of Sumatra, where they are very com- 
mon, and it is the only species belonging to the genus which 
has migrated from the continent. It causes great ravages 
in the island by climbing to the summit of the cocoa trees 
to drink the milk, after having devoured the tops of the 
plant*. This is the Ursus Malayanus. 

* Our readers will see that this description contains nothing 1 contradic- 
tory to that of Sir T. S. Raffles, except in the colour of the pectoral spot. 
And that this species is subject to numerous slight variations we have 
the testimony of M. Duvaucel, who probably may have seen more indivi- 
duals than Sir Thomas. 


" The intermediate species has the muzzle of a mode- 
rate bulk but the forehead, not much elevated in the two 
preceding species, is scarcely perceptible in this, being al- 
most on the same line with the nose. The arrangement of 
the hair is the same as in the Ursus Labiatus, and the vo- 
lume of the head is similarly augmented by the quantity 
and disposition of its covering, only that the hair being a 
little shorter, renders this character less prominent. The 
ears are also very large, and the nose by no means unlik e 
that of a dog. 

" This Bear has a compact body, thick neck, and heavy 
limbs. But this conformation, which might lead us to as- 
sign considerable strength to the animal, does not agree 
with the weakness of the claws, which are one half shorter 
than those of the preceding species. Perhaps we may de- 
duce from this circumstance that this animal does not climb 
trees. The muzzle is black on the upper part at all ages, 
with a slight red tint on the edges of the lips. The lower 
jaw is white underneath, and the pectoral spot resembles a 
pitch-fork, the two prongs of which, considerably apart, 
occupy the entire chest, and what may be termed the tail 
extends to the middle of the belly. This Bear was found 
by M. Wallich in the mountains of Nepaul, and I have 
seen it myself in those of Silhet. Its habitat is less exten- 
sive, and it appears to be more ferocious than the others. 
This Bear is the Ursus Tibetanus. 

" It would be easy to multiply instances of difference be- 
tween these species, by a minute comparison of all the 
details of their organization. But I presume that the in- 
spection of my figures alone will be sufficient to remove 
every suspicion of their identity, and to convince you that 
we have in India three species of the Bear invariably black, 
for I have seen a sufficient number of individuals of each 
to certify that their covering preserves the same co- 
lour at all ages and in every season. As to the teeth, I 

R 2 


know little respecting them, excepting those of my second 
Bear, which has at least three false molars. It is probable 
that the third species, so different from the two others, has 
likewise some anomaly in this respect, a fact of which I 
cannot be assured until my specimens are dead." 

Thus far M. Duvaucel. We shall only add that the 
Ursus Labiatus belongs to the mountainous parts of India 
solely. It is said to retire into caverns and holes, which it 
excavates by means of its long claws, and to feed principally 
on white ants, fruits, and honey ; but as little of its habits 
are known with any certainty, it may rationally be pre- 
sumed, on viewing the teeth, that it is as carnivorous as 
Bears in general. 

A disgusting story in the Oriental Field Sports, Major 
Smith is inclined to refer to this species, of a poor Indian 
who had his hands and arms literally ground into a pulp 
by the teeth of a Bear. If so, this would be the Baloo, a 
name generally given to the Ursus Malayanus. The pre- 
sence of the mark on the breast, which we have mentioned, 
may strengthen this supposition. 

The existence of the Bear in Africa, is not so incontesta- 
ble as that of the Asiatic Bear. Pliny having found in the 
Roman Annals, that under the consulship of Piso and Mes- 
sala, sixty-one years before Jesus Christ, Domitius iEno- 
barbus exhibited in the circus a hundred Numidian Bears, 
led by as many negro hunters, quotes the fact with much 
surprise. " I am astonished," says he, " at this epithet 
Numidian, for it is certain that Africa produces no Bears." 
Ursinus, Lipsius, and Vossius have imagined that by this 
word the annalist meant Lions, as the Elephant was at first 
called the Lucanian Ox ; and they have cited medals of this 
same iEnobarbus, the reverse of which represents a man 
combating with a Lion. But it seems perfectly incredible 
that the Romans, who, according to the testimony of Pliny 
himself, had seen such numerous troops of Lions, could 


have given this animal such a perverse misnomer. How, 
above all, could Pliny be ignorant of this synonyme, which 
must still have been in use in his time ? For we find Ly- 
bian Bears mentioned by contemporaneous writers — by 


" Nee profuit misero quod cominus Ursos 
Figebat Numidas." — 

And by Martial, 

" Quod frenis Lybici domantur Ursi." 
And long before by Virgil, 


Horridus in jaculis et pelle Libystidis Ursae." 

Solinus, and among the moderns, Crinitus, Saumaise, Al- 
drovandus, and Zimmerman, have taken the part of the old 
annalist, and maintain the existence of the Bear in Africa, 
though they allow that it has been seldom found. Solinus 
even asserts that it is the handsomest of the Bears, clothed 
with the longest hair, and is by far the most ferocious. 
But the testimony of such an author, and even that of 
Strabo, who asserts that there are Bears in Arabia, need 
confirmation from more modern and authentic sources. 
Shaw, indeed, mentions the existence of Bears in Barbary, 
but does so in a simple enumeration of animals, without 
saying any thing particular about them, and indeed without 
appearing to have seen them. M. Desfontaines, who made 
a long stay at Algiers, and surveyed Mount Atlas with no 
small degree of care and accuracy, never saw any Bears in 
that country, and only mentions in a vague manner that 
there might be some in the forests in the environs of the 

Prosper Alpin attributes Bears to Egypt, but such as 
have no character of the animal. He talks of them as of 
the size of a Sheep, and a whitish colour. None of the 


naturalists on the French expedition ever saw any Bears in 

Poncet says that one of his Mules was wounded in Nubia 
by a Bear. But Bruce thinks that he has confounded 
the Arabic word Dubbah, which signifies a hyaena, with 
Dubb, which means a Bear. The last-mentioned traveller 
assures us positively that there are no Bears in any part of 
Africa. Dapper says that there are Bears in Congo ; but 
he is a compiler whose authority is not strengthened by the 
testimony of any traveller. It seems tolerably certain that 
no one has ever seen a Bear in the south of Africa. 

There should be Bears in South America, if we are to 
attach any credit to the first describers of that country. 
Acosta and Garcilasso place them in Peru. But as more 
recent naturalists have seen none there, it is probable that 
the animal taken by those writers for the Bear was no other 
than the large Ant-eater. 

The next division of the Plantigrades that come under no- 
tice, belong to the genus Racoon (Procyon.^) They have 
three pointed, distinct, anterior cheek-teeth, and three pos- 
terior, which are flattened ; the whole forming a continued 
series quite different from that of the Ursus, in which the 
first three are insignificant, and may be almost called deci- 
duous. They differ also from the Bears in having a long 
tail, and all the teats are ventral, while in the genus Ursus 
there are two pectoral and four ventral teats. In running, 
the Racoons do not bring the sole into complete contact 
with the ground, but they do so when standing. 

The first species, of which we shall now speak, is the 
Common Racoon {Ursus Lotor, L.) 

One of those phenomena which are most worthy of the 
attention of the naturalist, and most calculated to lead us 
to appreciate the infinite power of the Creator, consists in 


the insensible and gradual changes through which the same 
organ will pass, by which its nature will, in some measure, 
be transformed, and results produced entirely different 
from those which constituted the object of its original des- 
tination. The organs of sense and motion offer frequent 
examples of this phenomenon, and the teeth of certain ani- 
mals present a remarkable instance of the same. The true 
carnivora, the Cats for instance, have, in each jaw, teeth 
evidently destined, by their form and relative position, to 
cut, like the two blades of a scissors, the fibres of the mus- 
cles of their prey. But in proportion as the destination of 
an animal is less decidedly carnivorous, these teeth lose 
their trenchant character, and grow thicker ; and thus we, 
at last, arrive at a limit where they can no longer be dis- 
tinguished from the tuberculous teeth, whose office simply 
consists in triturating the food. These teeth, when sharp 
and slender, are opposed face to face, but when thick, they 
are opposed crown to crown, so that they become truly 
transformed into molar teeth, and nature, in operating so 
considerable a transformation, has no need of making any 
essential change in those organs. It is sufficient for the 
purpose, that a very small tubercle, which is already found 
on the internal face of the slenderest teeth, should simply 
receive a more augmented development. 

The Racoons are the last of the carnassiers, in which 
these changes of the teeth can be traced, without uncer- 
tainty. They are frugivorous as well as carnivorous. They 
seem, in this respect, to form the link between the quadru- 
mana and the mammalia, which subsist on small animals, 
and even insects, such as the Bats, the Moles, the marsu- 
pial carnassiers, fyc. They bear a near relation to the 
Coatis, of whom we shall presently speak. Their molar 
teeth are altogether similar, and the only difference be- 
tween the two is found in the organs of sense, which has 

248 class mammalia. 

led some naturalists to form of these different animals but 
two divisions of a single genus. 

In the upper jaw, on one side as well as the other, they 
have two tuberculous molars, one carnivorous tooth, three 
false molars, one canine, and six incisors; and in the 
lower jaw, one tuberculous, one carnivorous, four false 
molars, one canine, and six incisives. The eyes have a 
round pupil, and they offer nothing particular in the eye- 
lids, nor in the other accessory parts. The nose extends 
considerably beyond the jaws, without being, at the same 
time, so much advanced as that of the Coatis, and it is 
terminated by a glandulous apparatus, at the end of which 
the nostrils are opened, and prolonged over the sides, re- 
ascending in a curve line. The tongue is soft, and the 
lips extensible. The ears are elliptical, and of a very 
simple structure. The sole of the feet may be an organ 
of touch. Its skin is extremely delicate, and it seems 
not improbable that these animals make use of it for 
feeling. Of the teats we have already spoken. The 
fore-feet have five toes, furnished underneath with thick 
tubercles, the shortest of all is that which answers to the 
thumb. The little toe comes next in length ; then that 
which is next the thumb, and the two remaining ones, 
which are the largest, are of equal length. They have all 
digging nails, long and strong ; and on the palm, five very 
elastic tubercles are distinctly visible ; one strong one to- 
wards the wrist, another at the base of the little finger ; 
a third, at the origin of the thumb ; a fourth, near the se- 
cond toe; and a fifth, at the base of the two larger toes. 
The hind-feet are conformed precisely like the fore, as to 
the toes, the claws, and the tubercles. But the tarsus is 
longer than the carpus, and the first tubercle is farther 
from the heel than its corresponding one from the wrist. 

These animals are plantigrade, but, as we observed in the 


introduction, do not place the entire sole on the ground in 
walking. The gait is heavy and awkward. They can easily 
stand up on their hind-feet, and have the power of grasping 
with the fore ; but this last operation is performed, not 
by contracting a single paw, but by putting both together. 
There is not sufficient pliability in the internal part of the 
fingers, to enable them to grasp like the quadrumana. In 
this mode, they often carry their provisions to their mouth, 
after having plunged them in water, and rolled them between 
their paws; an operation, the object or utility of which, to 
the animal, it is not very easy to conjecture. They do not see 
objects very distinctly in a strong light. During the day, 
they remain bent into a ball, seated on their posteriors, with 
the head placed between the thighs. It is in the night, though 
the eye-pupils are round, that they evince most activity, and 
seek their food, which consists, for the most part, of worms, 
insects, fruits, and roots. They proceed ferretting in all di- 
rections, and the most retired corners, and the smallest 
holes seem, in particular, to excite the activity of their re- 
searches. They climb trees with the great facility, where, 
J n all probability, they go for the purpose of surprising the 
birds, and plundering their nests. They drink by suction, 
and water appears to be a very absolute necessity of life 
with them. It is said, that they frequent the banks of 
rivers, and the sea-shore, to catch mollusca, and fish, to 
which they are extremely partial. Their sense of smelling 
is peculiarly delicate, but not so their organs of hearing. 
They are commonly very fat, which, united to the propor- 
tions of the various parts of their body, and to the thick fur 
with which they are clothed, gives them a rotundity of form, 
very unlike what characterizes the carnassiers of higher 
rank, but very similar to that of the Bears. Their tail, ex- 
ceedingly tufted, does not appear to be of any particular 
use to them. They are animals easily tamed; that is to 


say, they soon become familiar ; they even seem to look for 
caresses, but do not appear capable of obedience or at- 
tachment. They must always be kept chained up, to hinder 
them from regaining their liberty, and returning to their 
wild state. Captivity causes them to contract new habits, 
but they never lose the sentiment of independence. 

The general colour of the body is a blackish-gray, paler 
under the belly, and on the limbs, and resulting from hairs 
ringed with black and dirty-white. The tail has five or six 
black rings, on a ground of yellowish-white. The muzzle 
whitish in front, has a black patch, which includes the eye, 
and descends obliquely on the lower jaw. Between this 
and the ear, on the cheeks and brows, the hairs are almost 
white, very long, and directed downwards. The forehead is 
black. On the remaining part of the muzzle, the hairs are 
very short ; but the upper lip is furnished with long and 
thick mustachios. All the feet are covered, but with very 
short hairs. 

These animals have two sorts of hairs. The woolly kind 
are deep gray, and very thick ; the silky are ringed, as we 
have said, with black and dirty white. The covering which 
results from this combination, is very furry and soft, which 
must make the skin very valuable. They are found in 
advanced latitudes in North America. Mackenzie found 
them on the borders of the Red River, in 45° or 50° north 
longitude. They also descend pretty far towards the south. 
D'Azzara describes them among the animals of Para- 

The Racoon has been frequently brought into Europe. 
It is a very well known animal as to organization and cha- 
racter. But of its natural habits we know next to nothing. 
There is a letter, addressed to Buffon, on the subject, and 
inserted in the third volume of his supplements, quarto 
edition, which contains some curious details ; but we know 


nothing of the circumstances of the re-production and de- 
velopment of these animals : we know not, with precision, 
the means which they employ in procuring their food, or in 
defending themselves against their enemies. In fine, the 
physical history of the animal is known, but of its natural 
history we are almost in a state of perfect ignorance. The 
females are smaller than the males, but in every thing else 
there is a strict resemblance between the two sexes. 

The substance of this description is taken from that most 
indefatigable, and most meritorious naturalist, M. Frede- 
rick Cuvier, whose zeal in the cause of science is only to 
be equalled by his assiduity and judgment in its prosecu- 
tion. These remarks are the result of his observations on 
a great number of Racoons, possessed by the French mena- 
gerie. A state of captivity is not very favourable to the 
development of the natural instincts or habits of any ani- 
mal. Under strict confinement, and leading a mononotous life, 
it must always present itself under the same aspect. Ani- 
mals must be seen under other conditions, to form an ac- 
curate judgment of their natural character. They must be 
in a state of freedom, and their various relations must be 
sufficiently extended, before their faculties can be com- 
pletely unfolded. 

D'Azzara has spoken of the Racoon under the name of 
Agouarapope. He says that the female has three teats on 
each side. The Mapach of Mienskenberg is evidently a 
Racoon, but the drawing is incorrect, and the engraving 
very bad. Buffon has, hitherto, given the most correct 
figure. In possession of the editor, is a drawing of 
Major Smith's, of a specimen of the Racoon, of a bright- 
rose colour, and which, though extremely rare, we pre- 
sume to be the same as the yellow Racoon, mentioned by 
M. Geoffroy, in the catalogue of the collection of the French 


A small variety of the Racoon, with brown throat, is also 
mentioned in the same catalogue. 

The White Badger of Brisson is likewise considered as 
a variety of the Racoon. 

The scientific name (Ursus Lotof) given by Linnaeus 
to the Racoon, is from its habit, which we have men- 
tioned, of plunging every article of its food, if possible, into 

The Crab-Racoon, (Procyon Cancrivorus,) is an inhabi- 
tant of South America, and is treated, by Cuvier, as dis- 
tinct from the last, though they appear to have been much 
confounded. It is a little larger than the latter, but the 
tail, in proportion, is much shorter. It is of an uniform 
clear ash-brown colour, or, as Buffon states it, yellow 
marked with black and gray, the black prevailing on the 
head, neck, and back, and the yellow being almost unmixed 
on the sides of the neck and body ; the end of the nose is 
black ; a blackish-brown band surrounds the eyes, stretch- 
ing almost to the ears, passing over the muzzle, and uniting 
at the summit of the head. The inside of the ears is 
furnished with whitish hairs, and a whitish band passes 
above the eyes, and there is a white spot on the middle of 
the forehead ; the cheeks, jaws, under part of the neck, 
breast, and belly, are yellowish white ; the tail is annulated 
with six black rings, the intervals between which are yel- 
low mixed with gray and black. 

The habits of this species are similar to those of the last. 
It feeds very much on Crustacea and mollusca, whence it has 
received the epithet by which it is distinguished, though 
it may be observed that the other species is also fond of 
this kind of food, and probably to the same degree. 

It is an inhabitant of South America. 

Shaw observed that, according to Linnseus, the Racoon 
has a wonderful antipathy to Hog's bristles, and is much 


disturbed at the sight of a brush, which particular, relative 
to a specimen kept and described by Linnseus himself, is, 
by some mistake, applied byBuffon to the Coati Mondi, 
and is quoted in a note belonging to the history of that ani- 
mal, in his work on quadrupeds. 

The Racoons produce from two to three young at a birth, 
generally in the month of May. Their fur is used by hat- 
ters, and is considered as next in merit for this purpose to 
that of the Beaver. 

The next subdivision of our author embraces the Coatis, 
the first species of which is the Red Coati ( Viverra Nasua.) 
M. F. Cuvier complains of the poverty of the French 
language in describing the multifarious colours which dis- 
tinguish the animal tribes. This reproach, we apprehend, 
is applicable to all languages, and to our own in a much 
greater degree than to the French. Whatever advantages 
the English language may possess, it certainly must resign 
the palm here ; for it possesses neither delicacy nor variety 
of terms for the discrimination of colours. But the truth 
is, that nature in this, as in most others of her wonderful 
manifestations, is an overmatch for man and for his lan- 
guage. The magnificent splendour and the infinite variety 
of hues in which she delights to clothe her wondrous works, 
must ever set the ingenuity of man at defiance to describe 
them. The attempt indeed to convey colours through any 
medium, but that of vision, must ever prove, more or less, 
a failure. No man ever formed a just idea of any animal 
which he had not seen, from mere description. Hence the 
indispensable necessity of figures to natural history, which 
must very imperfectly attain its end without them. The 
species which we are now about to describe, is sufficient to 
demonstrate the unsatisfactoriness of verbal colouring, by 
the errors of synonymy to which it has given rise ; errors. 


which could only be discovered by the direct and immediate 
comparison of the different species or varieties of the 

The Red Coati has been known a tolerably long time. 
Systematic writers have even expressed its character by 
the name which they bestowed upon it ; but the synonymy 
which they attached to that, destroyed on the one hand 
what they had established on the other. It is almost cer- 
tain that this animal has never been described or repre- 
sented faithfully ; and if a contrary opinion has obtained, 
it is because what authors have said of another Coati, 
which is apparently but a fawn-coloured variety of the 
brown, has been always referred to this species. By a 
most singular chance, Schreber having copied the figure of 
the blackish Coati of Buffon, and having arbitrarily illu- 
minated it, produced by accident a very near resemblance 
of the genuine Red Coati. But this only served to aug- 
ment the error into which people had already fallen on the 
subject, and to confirm all the mistakes which were its ne- 
cessary consequence. We shall say more on this subject 
when we come to the Brown Coati. We find no clear de- 
signation of the Red Coati among travellers, except in a 
note communicated by Laborde to Valmont de Bomaire, 
and inserted by the last in his Dictionary, at the end of the 
article Quachi. " We met," says the first, " in the woods 
of Guiana a large species of Quachi, the hair of which is 
of a bright red," fyc. What is singular, most naturalists 
must have heard of this species, especially in modern times, 
notwithstanding the delusion under which they laboured 
respecting it. 

The principal dimensions of an individual in the French 
Museum were as follows : 

Length from the occiput to the origin of the tail, one 
foot, six lines. 


Of the tail, one foot, four inches, four lines. 

From the occiput to the end of the muzzle, five inches, 
nine lines. 

Of the fore-foot, two inches. 

Of the hind-foot, three inches, three lines. 

Height to the shoulder, nine inches, nine lines. 

Height in the hinder part, ten inches, six lines. 

This Coati was a male. All the parts of its body, except 
the muzzle, the ears, and the spots of the tail, had a tint 
of bright and brilliant red, a little more sombre along the 
back, where the middle part of the hairs were black, but 
red everywhere else, and of a tint somewhat paler towards 
their extremities. The muzzle was blackish gray above, 
and gray on the sides. The ears were black, as also the 
lower part of the legs in front. The tail was covered with 
transversal spots of marron on the upper part, which di- 
vided it uniformly into eight or ten parts. The lower jaw 
and the edge of the upper were white. 

The fur, very thick and harsh, is composed of two sorts 
of hairs. The silky hairs are those from which the animal 
derives its colour, the woolly are gray, and in very small 
quantity. The eye is small and black, elongated trans- 
versely, but destitute of any accessary organs. The ear is 
small and rounded ; the nose, which is prolonged consi- 
derably beyond the jaws, is terminated by a sort of glandu- 
lous protuberance, and the nostrils are oval, open in front, 
and are prolonged in a sort of cleft on the sides. The 
tongue is very soft and extensible. All the feet have five 
toes, armed with very long claws well adapted for digging. 
The three middle toes, equal in size, are the longest of all ; 
the two external are shorter, and the thumb is shortest of 
all. The soles of all the feet are naked, and covered with 
a very soft skin. The animal in walking places only the 
extremity of the fore-feet on the ground, and does not even 
place the entire sole of the hind-feet on it, except when 


sitting down. In treating of the Brown Coati, we shall 
mention the remarkable tubercles which belong to this 
part, and which may yet perhaps be considered as charac- 
teristic. There are neither anal sacks nor glandular pouches. 
The tail is tolerably thick at its base, but the animal does 
not make much use of it. He usually carries it raised, and 
contrary to the custom of many other animals, places it 
between his legs when he lies down, as if to repose himself 
upon it. In this situation it is folded round, pretty 
nearly in the manner we see dogs carry theirs. 

The Red Coati has the same teeth as the rest. The 
cheek-teeth are six in number on each side of the two jaws. 
In the lower jaw are four false molars, a carnivorous, and a 
tuberculous tooth. In the upper, three false molars, one 
carnivorous, and two tuberculous teeth. But the carnivo- 
rous teeth take in these animals altogether the tuberculous 
character, in consequence of the development of those in- 
ternal tubercles, which we have mentioned in our descrip- 
tion of the Racoon. In each jaw are eight incisors and 
two canines, and these last are remarkable in their form ; 
they are depressed, and present on their front and back 
faces trenchant edges, which must constitute them very 
formidable arms. 

Smelling is the predominant sense of the Coati. His 
nose is in perpetual motion, and he applies it strongly, as 
if trying to feel with it, to every object presented to his no- 
tice. He uses it also for digging and for pursuing worms, 
of which he seems extremely fond. In this labour he 
also assists himself with his fore-paws. His sight, hearing, 
and taste seem very obtuse. He exhales a strong and 
very disagreeable odour. 

Sometimes this Coati which we have mentioned, took his 
food with his jaws. But most commonly he would carry it 
to his mouth with his paws, not in the way of handling, 
but by digging his nails into the provision which remained 


attached to them. In general these animals are very adroit 
in the use of their paws. They use them very cleverly in 
climbing and descending trees ; and they do not descend 
backwards like most other animals. They come down 
head foremost, hooking with their hinder paws, which they 
have an extraordinary faculty of reversing to great extent. 
The voice of this Coati was a gentle hissing when in good 
humour, and a very shrill and piercing cry when under the 
influence of pain or anger. 

This same individual, without being precisely malicious, 
was never completely tamed ; and though at times he would 
permit caresses, at others he would bite sharply. On this 
account it was necessary to keep him continually shut up. 
This confinement did not allow scope for the full impulse of 
his character, and complete exercise of his intelligence. 
But his disposition generally resembled so closely that of 
the Brown Coati, that we may conjecture that in such re- 
spects there is not much difference between the species, 
and the latter has been often completely tamed. Laborde 
says that the Red Coati lives retired in the largest woods, 
generally in companies of no more than three or four indi- 
viduals of the species ; while, on the contrary, the Brown 
Coatis live in large troops. But this information is not 
sufficiently important or authentic to illustrate the history 
of the species. 

As the earth is subject to such numerous variations which 
exercise very opposite influences on animal life, and as 
each country in particular experiences the effects of many 
transitory and accidental causes, nature, by a necessary 
consequence, has bestowed upon her creatures the faculty 
of being modified in proportion to the extent and operation 
of such causes, and of being conformed to the various cir- 
cumstances by which they are surrounded. This is one of 
the wisest regulations in the economy of the universe (if 
indeed among so many proofs of omnipotent wisdom we 

Vol, II. S 


may be permitted to single out any instance for eulogium 
in preference to others), and one indispensably necessary 
for the preservation of animal existence. In fact, in the 
very earliest steps which are made in the study of living 
beings, this grand truth must be felt and acknowledged. 
It is to this faculty that all individual, perhaps too, all spe- 
cific varieties are owing, and most certainly all the races 
of our domestic animals. Without it, life itself would 
ere long be extinct from the surface of the earth. Were it 
withdrawn, all nature would speedily exhibit the most de- 
plorable spectacle of disease, decay, decrepitude and death. 
This cannot be doubted for an instant, when we consider 
the effect which the most feeble of these modifying causes 
will produce upon animals not properly prepared to resist 
them. The natives of hot climates seldom pass with impu- 
nity into colder regions, unless the change be carried on by 
almost imperceptible gradations. And the case is the same 
with those which pass from Northern countries into torrid 
or even into temperate latitudes. 

Notwithstanding the high importance of this law of na- 
ture, it has not yet been made the subject of any particular 
study. Every day we see doubts started on the characters 
of species and varieties, and we are in the most profound ig- 
norance of the effects proper to each modifying cause, as 
we are also respecting the nature of these causes them- 
selves. This is a branch of science totally neglected, al- 
though it might conduct to the most curious and useful 
discoveries. The transformation of the rough covering of the 
Argali {Oms Ammon, Gm.) into the soft and beautiful fleece of 
the Merinos, the domesticity of the Dog, the subjection of the 
Horse, a thousand other phenomena of this description are 
incontestably verified, yet no attempt is made to investigate 
their producing-causes. But if on the one side it is im- 
portant to make experimental researches on this point, it 
is no less so to ascertain the varieties which nature herself 


occasions, to establish the modifications which take place 
independently of our influence, the organs in which they 
occur, and the limits to which they arrive. With this view 
all the varieties exhibited by the Mammalia should, as far 
as possible, be represented and described, and on this occa- 
sion we shall present to the reader, along with our descrip- 
tion of the Brown Coati, a notice of its fawn-coloured 

We have detailed at considerable length, in our description 
of the Red Coati, the principal organs of that species ; its 
size, its proportions, its teeth, its senses, its paws, its toes, 
the nature of the fur, and the principal uses which it makes 
of its limbs. All that we have said on this subject equally 
applies to the Brown Coati. M. F. Cuvier had both spe* 
cies under his inspection at once, and after the minutest 
comparison of their details, he declares that the only dif- 
ference between them is in colour. We shall notice a 
few particulars omitted in our account of the Red Coati, 
and which the reader must consider as characteristic of 
both species. The tubercles of the paws exhibit very pecu- 
liar characters, which might of themselves suffice to dis- 
tinguish the Coatis from the Racoons were there no other 
points of distinction between these sub-genera, such as the 
eyes, the elongation of the nose, the tail, and the general 
physiognomy. It is principally in the fore-feet that these 
tubercles are remarkable. In the first place, those with 
which the extremities of the toes are furnished, are very 
thick, and they are separated from those of the palm by 
folds of the skin of a very peculiar character. There the 
thumb communicates with a very large tubercle, divided 
into two parts, which itself communicates behind with ano- 
ther placed on the edge of the palm. The three middle 
digits rest upon one and the same tubercle, which is pro- 
longed from the external side of the paw, and behind which 
another very strong one is found, which terminates the 

S 2 


palm on the side of the wrist. Finally, the little digit is con- 
nected with a very small tubercle, which communicates with 
a part of the preceding. The sole of the hind-foot differs 
less from that of the Racoons, the tubercles being similar 
in number. The first, commencing from the side of the 
first toe, furnishes its base, the next is in relation with the 
two following toes, and the two others correspond to the 
joining of the second toe with the third, and of this last 
with the little toe. Lastly, a fifth tubercle is found behind 
on the side of the heel. The external covering of all these 
parts is a skin, extremely soft. It seldom or never happens 
that two specimens of the Brown Coati are to be found 
exactly alike. They are met with of all variety of shades 
between brown and fawn-coloured, depending on the greater 
or less depth of the tint with which the extremities of the 
hairs are coloured. Some have been found with the muzzle 
entirely black, others had the tail without rings, others 
were of a whitish gray, while the majority were a deep 
orange yellow. In general on the upper parts of the body 
the hairs were yellowish in their lower half, then came a 
portion of black, and finally, the extremities were tipped 
with fawn-colour more or less deep, which, according to its 
depth, produces the sombre shade of the Brown Coati, or the 
brighter tint of the fawn-coloured variety. None of these 
differences happened to belong to sex. The lower parts and 
the internal face of the limbs are of a yellowish gray, some- 
times of an orange shade, and these colours at times rise 
as high as the breast and over the sides of the neck and the 
lower jaw ; and behind these places is sometimes seen a 
part of a white colour. The summit of the head is gray, 
all the lower jaw white, the upper part of the muzzle 
black, except that in the majority of specimens there is a 
white line along the nose, and three other white spots 
round the eye. One of these spots was above the eye, one 
below, and the other at the side of the external angle. The 


tail sometimes altogether black, more frequently covered 
with rings, alternately deep brown and fawn-coloured, is 
always black at the end. This is also the colour of the ex- 
tremity of the paws. 

An individual of the fawn-coloured variety was presented 
to the French Menagerie by General Cafarelli. Though 
very tame, it would never leave its cage, until it had tried 
to smell out every object around. When its distrust was 
abated, it would traverse the apartment, examining every 
corner with its nose, and putting aside with its paws every 
object that would be an obstacle in the way. At first it 
would not permit itself to be touched, but turned and 
threatened to bite when any one put his hand near it. But 
as soon as it was given something to eat, it became per- 
fectly confident, and from that moment received all the 
caresses which were bestowed upon it, and returned them 
with eagerness, thrusting its long muzzle into one's sleeve, 
under the waistcoat, and uttering a little soft cry. It took 
a fancy to a Dog, and they both slept in the same cage 
but it would not suffer another to approach it. When it 
scratched itself with its fore-paws, it often made use of 
both at once ; and it had a singular custom of rubbing the 
base of its tail between the palms of its fore-paws, an action 
that appeared quite inexplicable. In drinking it lapped 
like Dogs, and it was fed with bread and soup. When 
meat was given to it, it would tear it with its nails, and 
not with its teeth, to reduce it to small pieces. It had six 
teats. Before it came to the menagerie it enjoyed complete 
liberty, and would run through haylofts and stables in pur- 
suit of Mice and Rats, which it caught with great dexterity. 
It would proceed also into the gardens in search of worms 
and snails. 

This species of the Coati is commonly sent into Europe 
from South America, where it appears to be found beyond 
the boundaries of Paraguay. They unite in small troops 


in woods near the habitations of tbe people, and cause 
much mischief in the sugar-cane plantations. Buffon has 
represented two varieties, under the names of the Brown 
and Blackish Coati, which Schreber copied and disfigured 
by the colours which he employed to illuminate them. Lin- 
naeus published a tolerably good figure of the Coati, in the 
Acts of the Royal Academy of Sweden, in 1768. Pennant's 
figure of the Brown Coati is not good, nor is that of Margrave 
much better. We give the figure of one of the individuals 
before described. 

It appears to us, far from improbable, that the Coati (at 
least, as far as our discoveries have hitherto extended,) forms 
but one species. In all essential points, as we have seen, the 
red and brown exactly agree ; and, certainly, the mere dif- 
ference of colour does seem a very insufficient ground of spe- 
cific distinction. Even when that difference of colour is 
invariable, it seems to us, that it argues no more than the 
existence of a distinct race, and not that of a distinct species. 
If colour be once admitted as a criterion of species, there 
is no knowing where to stop, and specific distinctions must 
be multiplied ad infinitum. The white Horse will be a dif- 
ferent species from the black, and the brown from the bay. 
From the preceding accounts, it appears that the Red Coati 
was more savage than the others ; but this, most probably, 
was the result of his education, or rather of his want of 
education. The disposition was accompanied with no cor- 
responding traits of conformation, and cannot be admitted 
as a specific character. 

The next animal to be noticed in the Baron's sub-division 
of the plantigrades is the Kinkajou or Poto. It is a na- 
tive of South America, has been often seen in Europe, and 
described and figured by skilful naturalists, and, certainly, 
is one of the most singular animals in the long list of the 
mammalia. Its correct classification is a matter of no 


small difficulty, according to all the systems hitherto re- 
ceived. It has, by turns, been attached to the Carnassiers, 
the Plantigrades, and the Quadrumana ; while, at the same 
time, it was acknowledged that, properly speaking, it be- 
longed to none of them. It is not, perhaps, going too far 
to say, that it seems to be the type of a new gr,and division, 
equal in rank and importance to any of those now men- 

To judge by its general physiognomy, and, in some 
points, by its natural disposition, it might be taken for a 
Lemur. But its organs of mastication and of motion, are 
different. Its toes, claws, incisors, and canines, approach it 
to the Carnassiers ; but then its molar teeth entirely flat, and 
its prehensile tail, have no relation to these animals ; and if 
some of its traits connect it with the less carnivorous genera 
of the Plantigrades, such as the Bears, and Coatis, its 
physiognomy, and many points of its disposition, render it 
altogether different. The most probable conjecture seems 
to be that, under one point of view, its natural place would 
be immediately after the Quadrumana, between which ani- 
mals and the Carnivora, it might establish a new link of 
connexion, as the Galagos do between the Quadrumana and 
the Insectivora. According to this sort of analogy, the 
Roussettes would no longer exhibit an anomaly among the 
Cheiroptera : they might be detached from them to form 
an intermediate step between them and the omnivorous 

Thus, we see, successively realized, every possible combi- 
nation of organic life, whose infinite forms run as naturally 
into each other, as the threads which compose the tissue 
of an immense and ingenious piece of net- work. Indeed, 
there is no subject of more curious speculation than the ex- 
istence of these connecting links between the various orders, 
genera, and species of living beings. 

Examples of this description, will be found repeatedly 


referred to in these pages, and they exist in sufficient number 
to convince us, that though, perhaps, the Platonic notion 
may not be correct, of a gradual and unbroken degradation 
in living beings, yet that there is a sort of circular chain 
which binds the numerous branches of the family of earth 
together, and indicates, perhaps, their universal descent 
from one common origin. 

The Poto has been brought into Europe several times, 
and has been as often described. These descriptions, joined. 
to the numerous and interesting observations made upon 
its habits, by the Baron de Humboldt, constitute the entire 
history of this singular animal. Vosmaer, we apprehend, 
was the first who published a description of it, and gave it 
the name of Poto, under which denomination, a Mr. Broker 
informed him that he had received a similar animal from 
the island of St. Christopher. The name, however, to all 
appearance, is not American : no traveller mentions it, and 
the Baron de Humboldt, never heard this name pronounced 
in America. It seems to be, originally, an African name. 
Bosmann assures us, positively, that the Negroes give it to 
an animal of their country, which, according to his descrip- 
tion, would appear to belong to the Loris. Thus, in all 
probability, the Negro-slaves transplanted the name into 
America, and this would not be the first instance of a 
similar importation. 

As to the name of Kinkajou, which this animal has re- 
ceived from Buffon, and other naturalists, that seems as 
little to belong to it as the other. We find it in Denis' de- 
scription of North America, as the name of a carnivorous 
animal, which climbs trees, where it remains in ambus- 
cade, flings itself suddenly on the deer, and fastens on their 
necks, with its paws and tail, until it has destroyed them 
by sucking their blood. Such habits do by no means ac- 
cord with the character of the Poto, which, besides, is an 
animal not found in North America. The resemblance of 


name, and the resemblance of instinct and tastes would 
lead us rather to believe that the term Kinkajou, is the 
same as that of Kareajou or Careajou, and that both belong 
to the same animal, the Glutton of North America. 

The Baron Humboldt has informed us of some of the de- 
nominations of this animal, which vary, no doubt, according 
to the language of the tribes within whose territories the 
Poto may be found. The Musica Indians, in the Mesa of 
Guandiaz, call it the Cuchumbi; and in the mission of Rio 
Negro, it bears the name of Manaviri. Either of those 
names would be preferable to Poto or Kinkajou, which na- 
turalists will be obliged, sooner or later, to restore to their 
right owners. We do not presume, however, to depart in 
this point from the established usage, and change a name 
which has been consecrated by custom, however erroneously 
we may think it applied. It would be vain, indeed, to in- 
troduce a reformation, in a single instance, without carry- 
ing it farther, and the attempt at a general reformation of 
the nomenclature of Zoology, would, on our parts, be a 
piece of presumptuous temerity. We may presume, how- 
ever, so far as to express a hope that the day will yet arrive, 
when this noble science shall be purged alike of popular 
appellations, which have no meaning, and of technical sy- 
nonimes, which are only calculated to mislead — when the 
grand reform, so happily commenced by our illustrious au- 
thor, in the higher divisions of the animal world, shall be 
carried with equal felicity into the lower, and when each 
genus and species shall receive a single, simple, scientific 
name, derived from its conformation, and expressive of its 
most influential characters. Either Zoology is entitled to 
the rank of a science, or it is not — if it be not, then have 
many illustrious men bestowed much pains upon it, to little 
purpose ; if it be, (and, surely, there is no study which has 
a better claim,) such a reformation as we have ventured to 
allude to, will be indispensable to its perfection. We are 


not ignorant of the difficulties attendant on such an under- 
taking, but we also know that there are men in existence, 
capable of overcoming them ; men, marked out by destiny, 
to enlarge the boundaries of science, to subvert the empire 
of error, and to remove the heap of rubbish, with which 
ignorance, prejudice, affectation of learning, or pains-taking 
stupidity has clogged the portal of the temple of nature. 

The Baron's brother gives a description of a specimen of 
this genus, in the " Menagerie Royale." It was young, 
and a female. Its size was nearly that of the domestic 
Cat, and its physiognomy remarkably like a Lemur's. The 
fur, also, in its smoothness, softness, and thickness, bore 
a considerable resemblance to that of the animal just men- 
tioned. It was not so high, but had very much of the gait of 
the Makis, especially behind, and without being, like them, 
quadrumanous ; it walked on the sole and palm altogether. 
Its movements were slow, and apparently difficult, except 
when it sprung forward; its jumps were then extremely 
rapid and energetic. Its large eyes, almost directed for- 
ward, seemed to complete the resemblance ; but a detailed 
examination of its organs, soon proved that resemblance to 
be merely superficial. 

The Poto has five toes, without any thing like a distinct 
thumb, on all the feet, armed with pointed claws. These 
toes are united to the second phalanx by a membrane of 
small extent, and their relation, in a decreasing proportion, 
is as follows : the middle toe, the annular, the index, the 
little toe, and thumb, and, in this respect, the fore and 
hind feet exactly resemble. The sole and the palm are en- 
tirely naked, furnished with thick tubercles, especially at 
the base of the claws, and covered with a very soft skin. 
On the hinder-feet, the thumb and index remaining almost 
close together, seem to be separated, habitually, from the 
three other toes. The tail is prehensile, and covered every 
where equally with hairs. Its extremity is not naked, as 


in the Aletes, so that it may be considered as an organ 
of motion, without being one of touch. The eyes are 
simple, and the pupil is round, but it contracts to such a 
degree, under the influence of light, that its diameter is re- 
duced to scarcely a quarter of a line. The ears are rounded, 
have no lobules, and are very simple in their internal tu- 
bercles. The nostrils are small, open on the sides of the 
muzzle, and bear a very close resemblance to those of a 
dog. The tongue is narrow, thin, very smooth, and of a 
most disproportioned length. This has led to the supposi- 
tion of some new organic peculiarities in its muscles. In 
other particulars, the organs of taste appear unaccompanied 
by any accessory part. The fur is composed of silky and 
of woolly hairs, but both are of the same length, and very 
difficult to be distinguished from each other. These hairs 
are rather short, very numerous, [and so pressed against 
each other, that their direction cannot be distinguished by 
the eye. To the touch, they appear, along the back and 
sides, to lie from rear to front. On the tail and limbs, 
they pursued the usual directions, and all the parts of the 
body are equally covered with them, except the anterior 
part of the muzzle, the external conch of the ear, the sole 
of the feet, and palms of the hands, which are naked. This 
animal had no mustachios. There are but two teats, which 
are inguinal. The incisives are six in number, in each 
jaw, and the canines two. Neither possess any peculiarity, 
except a few longitudinal striae or grooves. There are five 
molars ; the two first which follow the canines, after a 
little interval, are, especially in the lower jaw, small and 
pointed, and have all the characters of false molars. The 
three following are tuberculous ; in the upper jaw, their 
coronal is nearly rounded, and a circle and border of ena- 
mel surrounds it. On their external edge, however, two 
tubercles are observable, which seem to be unworn re- 
mains of the tooth. Of these teeth, the middle is the 


largest ; the two others are of equal size. In the lower 
jaw the three tuberculous molars are elliptical. The edges 
of the first exhibit two points, but the two others exhibit 
only a smooth surface, surrounded and bordered with ena- 
mel. These three teeth are opposed crown to crown, like 
all triturating teeth. 

The colour of the Poto is, in general, of a yellowish- 
gray, and this colour assuming a more golden tint, pre- 
vails on the breast, the belly, and the sides of the cheeks. 
The eyes are black; the ears and muzzle, violet-colour; 
and the soles of the feet, and palms of the hands, flesh- 
colour. The nails are whitish. All the hairs are gray 
in the principal part of their length, and yellow at the 
points. The tail, at its extremity, is of a more sombre 
shade than the other parts of the body, though the colours 
are the same. 

This animal was extremely mild, and very fond of being 
caressed. It passed the entire day in sleeping, lying on one 
side, the head reclining on the breast, and covered around 
by the arms. When wakened from its profound sleep, it 
at first complained, seemed to suffer from the light, and 
continually sought to conceal itself in some obscure corner, 
or to shade its eyes from the light. By caresses, however, 
in a little time, it would be induced to play, but the moment 
they ceased, the necessity of sleep and obscurity overcame 
it. As soon as the day declined, it would awake by slow 
degrees ; at first it advanced a few paces in an irresolute 
manner, uttering a bleating sound, and putting forth its 
excessively long tongue. Presently, it would drink, lapping 
like a dog ; and, at last, take its food, which consisted of 
fruit, bread, and biscuits. It sometimes ate meat, but it 
preferred vegetable nutriment. It took its provisions, at 
times, with its lips, but more usually carried them to its 
mouth with its fore paws. It climbed trees dexterously, 
and descended, catching with its hind legs, after the man- 


ner of the Coatis, and completely turning back the foot. 
This action presupposes a very peculiar conformation in 
the bones of the leg. It often made use of its tail to pre- 
vent falls, and even to draw objects towards it, which it 
could not reach with its hands. Its voice, when calm, con- 
sisted in a little hissing, very soft ; but it could utter 
stronger cries, like the barking of a young dog. 

The celebrated and scientific traveller before mentioned, 
the Baron de Humboldt, tells us that the Poto makes use of 
its long tongue to suck honey, and that it is a great de- 
stroyer of the nests of wild bees. The missionaries, ac- 
cordingly, have given it the name of the Honey-Bear. He 
adds, that this animal was formerly among the number of 
those reduced to a domestic state by the aborigines of the 
temperate parts of New Grenada. 

Pennant calls this animal the Yellow Macauco. 

The Badger comes next ; and though but a single spe- 
cies, yet constitutes a sub-genus in itself. It possesses a 
system of organization exclusively peculiar. No other 
species can, with propriety, be placed along side of it. 
We might imagine that it was withdrawn from all the 
ordinary influences which operate on animal life, by some 
particular and inexplicable power, impelling it beyond the 
common laws of nature, and we might be tempted, in this 
instance, even to accuse nature of impotence or irregularity, 
had we not learned rather to distrust our own conjectures, 
than to doubt of the power, the wisdom, and the infinite 
benevolence of the Creator. 

But if the Badger be isolated, as a species, it yet enters 
very naturally as a genus or sub-genus of our author, into 
the series of those animals which are characterized by 
a tuberculous molar at the bottom of each jaw. These 
molars, in the Badger, are distinguished (the upper ones 


more especially) by their extent, the effect of which is 
to limit that of the carnivorous teeth, and, consequently, 
to diminish the animal's appetite of flesh, and his facul- 
ties of using it. In fact, the tuberculous molar of the 
upper jaw, occupies a space equal to that of the carni- 
vorous molar, and of the two false molars which precede 
it: from whence it happens that the lower half of the 
under carnivorous tooth is augmented, that it may be 
properly opposed to the large tuberculous tooth above. 
This makes it, in fact, one-half tuberculous, and one-half 
carnivorous. The Badger, besides, has two false molars 
in the upper jaw, and four below. But the first of the 
latter, is merely a rudiment. The canines and incisives 
are similar to those of all the other genera of the Marten 
family, i. e., the first resemble the canines of all the Car- 
nassiers, and it is the same with the upper incisors. The 
middle incisor, in each lower maxillary, is not inserted on 
the same line as the two others, but much farther in. It is 
only parallel with them in the extremity of its crown, and 
on this account it projects more forward. 

Although the Badger approaches the Martens by its sys- 
tem of dentition, it is far from resembling those fine- 
formed, light, and lively animals, in which particulars, 
probably, no other family of the Mammalia can equal them. 
It is on the contrary, heavy and gross; its body is thick, 
its movements slow, and its physiognomy announces neither 
promptitude of intelligence, nor vivacity of passion. Ac- 
cordingly, we find that it leads a most gloomy and solitary 

It is an animal entirely plantigrade, with five toes on each 
foot, united almost to their extremity by a thick membrane, 
not much susceptible of extension, and armed with digging 
claws, extremely strong. On the two feet, the second and 
third toes are equal, and the longest. The first and fourth 


come next, and the internal one is the shortest. The sole 
of the fore-feet is furnished with tubercles, very thick, and 
covered with a soft skin, one at the exremity of each toe. 
Three others, disposed in the form of a trefoil, are found 
on the middle of the sole, which is terminated behind, on 
the fore-feet, by a single tubercle, and on the hinder, by 
two contiguous ones. The tail is short, and rudimentary. 

The organs of sense shew very little development. The 
eye is small, with a round pupil. The third lid is large 
enough to receive the cornea altogether. The ear has an 
external conch of small extent, and very simple within. 
The antitragus, alone, is remarkable for a thick tubercle, 
in the form of a semi-circle, which occupies its whole ex- 
tent, transversely. The nostrils are surrounded by a very 
developed muzzle, composed of strong glands. They con- 
sist of two sinuses, large in front of the mouth, narrow on 
its sides, and the orifice of the olfactory conduit is found 
in their anterior part. The tongue is oblong, large, and 
altogether covered with very small papilla?, pointed, and 
even a little horned, but soft enough to make it appear 

The fur is copious, and the haris very long on the body ; 
they are much less so on the head, the limbs, and the lower 
parts. They are both silky and woolly, yet they differ 
little from each other ; the first are the longest, and the 
hardest. The mustachios are very small. 

Immediately under the tail is a large transversal aper- 
ture, which conducts into a naked cavity terminating in a 
cul-de-sac. The sides of this cavity, though no glandular 
apparatus is visible, are yet covered with an unctuous mat- 
ter. Underneath is a second and smaller pouch, in the 
midst of which the anus opens, and on each side of the 
anus is a tolerably large pore from whLch an unctuous mat- 
ter escapes of a yellowish colour, and a most intolerable 
odour. The Badger has six teats. 


Its colours are remarkable in their distribution. The 
head is of a slightly reddish white, divided on each side of 
the muzzle by a black band, which originates on the upper 
lip, takes in the eye, and terminates at the ear. The white 
of the head extends over the sides of the neck and termi- 
nates on the anterior half of the lower jaw. The top and 
sides of the body are of a dirty gray, which grows paler 
towards the flanks. But this colour is not uniformly spread. 
The black and white which compose it are disposed in 
spots or rather in confused and irregular masses. The 
throat, the under part of the chest, the belly, legs, and feet 
are of a deep black brown. The posterior part of the ab- 
domen is of a reddish white, and the tail of a whitish gray. 
The ear is black, bordered with white above ; and all the 
naked parts are of a tan -colour more or less deep. 

On the parts whose colours are uniform, the hairs have 
but a single tint. On the gray parts the silken hairs are 
generally white with a black ring in the middle, and the 
woolly hairs white with a yellowish point. 

The usual length of the Badger is about two feet and a 
half, and the tail six or seven inches. 

The Badgers pass a great part of their time under ground 
in burrows which they dig with much dexterity. Two 
young Badgers were seen at their work by M. F. Cuvier ; 
they were caught in the burrow of their mother, and 
placed in a fenced yard. They soon unpaved it, and made 
a burrow, where they passed an entire year, never quitting 
it, except by night, to take the food which was placed 
within their reach. From this, they were transferred into 
a moat, surrounded with walls, in the middle of which was 
a large mound of earth. These animals first sought all 
round the walls for a place in which they could dig. Having 
discovered an empty space between two stones, the upper 
of which was projecting, they tried to increase it ; but as 
it was rather elevated, and they were obliged to stand on 


their hind-feet to reach it, it was with much difficulty that 
they tore away the plaster and stone which they wanted to 
get rid of. The male would then several times lie down at 
the foot of the wall, and the female mount upon his body 
to reach the hole more easily, which she was trying to aug- 
ment. When they found that all their efforts were useless, 
they recommenced operations under another large stone, 
the only one in the place beside the former, which pro- 
jected ; but here they encountered a resistance which they 
could not overcome. Tired of their vain attempts on the 
side of the walls, under projecting stones, they turned their 
attention to the mound of earth, and worked, the female 
especially, with uncommon ardour and perseverance. At 
first they made little trenches or excavations all about this 
mound, and fixed themselves exactly opposite the place 
where they had made their second attempt against the wall. 
They commenced by removing the earth with their nose, 
then they made use of their fore-paws to dig and fling the 
earth backwards between their hind legs. When this was 
accumulated to a certain point, they threw it still farther 
with their hind-paws ; and finally, when the most distant 
heap of earth impeded the clearance they were making 
from the hole, they would come walking backwards to re- 
move it still farther, making use both of their hind and 
fore-paws in this operation, and they never returned to 
work at their burrow until they had completely removed 
this heap of mould out of their way. One of these animals 
would often lie down by the side of the other when it was 
digging, and seemed to annoy it as much in its labours as 
its own repose must have been disturbed by its coadjutor. 
During the night the burrow was finished. 

According to the report of hunters, it appears that the 
Badgers furnish the bottom of their habitation with dry 
and soft substances of which they make a bed, and which 
they carry between their paws. This habitation is not a 

Vol. II, T 


simple cavity, for excavations are found within its sides into 
which the animal also retires. Frequently many indivi- 
duals are found in one burrow, and there is reason to believe 
that the male and female always inhabit together. These 
animals quit their retreats only in search of prey, and 
in winter they are many days without appearing, not 
that they fall into a lethargic sleep, but they are afraid 
of the cold, and being very fat, are not much pressed 
by hunger. Summer is the season of parturition, and 
the females bring forth two, three, and sometimes four 
little ones at a birth. They take great care of them, and 
sometimes fetch them to enjoy the sun on the edges of their 
burrows. From their second year the young Badgers can 
reproduce, and their life is probably extended to twelve or 
fifteen years. The Badger is carnivorous, but less so than 
the Dog. It will eat bread, fruits, fyc, and is easily tamed. 
It lives and plays familiarly with Dogs, comes when called, 
follows the person who takes care of it, and soon learns to 
know him. They are found in all Europe as far as Nor- 
way, and in a great part of Asia. It is also probable that 
they exist in America. Buffon, in his Supplements, pub- 
lished one under the name of Carcajou, from that country; 
but that animal appears to belong to the genus Gulo. 

Hunters distinguish two species of the Badger, one they 
call Hog-Badger, and the other Dog-Badger. But they 
only differ in some trifling particulars and slight shades of 
colour. One kind, say they, is deeper coloured than the 
other, and one digs more willingly in earthy soils, while 
sandy grounds are more to the taste of the other. These 
observations are far from being ascertained to be just, and 
even if they were, they could only give rise to two varieties 
of no importance. 

The Badger does not appear to have been known to the 
Greeks ; at least it has not been discovered that any author 
of that nation speaks of them. The Latins, on the other 


hand, have expressly designated them by two different 
names, Wales and Taxus. The last of these names has 
been adopted by naturalists for the genus, the first for the 
species. Thus the Badger is the Taxus Meles of methodi- 
cal catalogues. 

There is at present, in Mr. Cross's collection at Exeter 
Change, an albino variety of the Badger, of an uniform 
pale yellow colour, with red eyes. 

Four species of the Linnaean families Viverra and Mus- 
tela have been separated by more modern methodical 
writers, and formed into a distinct genus. To these others 
have been added, which altogether compose the group or 
subgenus Gulo of our author. 

The teeth, and consequently the regimen and consequent 
habits of this group, are much more nearly allied to those 
of the Weasels than of the preceding subgenera ; but they 
bring the heel to the ground in walking. They may there- 
fore be treated as intermediate between the digitigrades 
and plantigrades, possessing most of the physical powers 
and mental impulses of the former, combined with the mode 
of locomotion peculiar to the latter. 

They have six incisors in each jaw, with a strong canine 
tooth on each side. There are five or four cheek-teeth on 
each side in the upper jaw, and six in the lower. The two 
first in the upper jaw when there are but four, and the 
three when there are five, are small unicuspidatous teeth, 
and may be called false carnivorous teeth, increasing suc- 
cessively in size ; the following or carnivorous tooth is 
large and strong, furnished with two points on the inner 
side, and a trenchant edge in front. The last is a small 
tuberculous or flattish tooth. 

In the lower jaw the four first are false, presenting each 
but one point or edge ; the fifth is long and large, present- 
ing two trenchant points ; the last is nearly flat. All the 

T 2 


teeth touch each other successively. Here then we see a 
decided departure from the flattish surfaces of the cheek- 
teeth of the preceding divisions, a vestige of which only 
maybe said to be found in the last cheek-tooth of this. 
The proportions of these flat to trenchant surfaces bespeak, 
almost with mathematical accuracy, the sort of food proper 
to the animal, and all those traits of character both phy- 
sical and moral dependant upon that fact. 

The head of these animals is long; the ears short and 
rounded, and the tongue smooth or rough in the different 
species ; the legs are very short, and the body in general 
so elongated as almost to qualify them for the epithet vermi- 
formed, which has been bestowed on some of the following 
divisions. They have no anal pouch, but a sort of vestige 
of it in some slight folliculi or folds of skin. 

They have five toes, deeply divided, terminated by long 
bent nails, which rather approximate them to the foregoing 
than the succeeding divisions, as they seem better calculated 
for digging than offensive warfare. 

The Common Glutton (Mustela Gulo of Linnaeus, and 
Ursus Gulo of Gmelin) has the muzzle as far as the eye- 
brows black ; the eyes small and black ; the space between 
the eyebrows and the ears white mixed with brown ; the 
lower jaw and the interior of the two feet are spotted with 
White ; the legs, tail, back, and belly, are brownish black, 
but the sides of the body from the shoulders to the tail are 
maroon colour. There is no tubercle on the heel, which 
barely comes in contact with the ground when the animal 
runs. The body altogether is heavy. It is about the size 
of the Badger. It does not become torpid in winter. 

The voracity of this animal, though excessive to a high 
degree, has been greatly exaggerated. To minister to this 
voracity it appears to have recourse to expedients in aid of 
its physical lack of powers, which seem otherwise to be 
inferior to its wants. When a sufficient supply of small 


quadrupeds arad birds cannot be procured, it is said to con- 
ceal itself on the horizontal branch of some tree, from which 
it will drop on Deer, even Horses, or other animals that may 
pass beneath, holding its situation and sucking their blood, 
till faintness and loss of blood sink them a complete cap- 
tive to its voracity. When tamed, it has been said to have 
eaten thirteen pounds of flesh in a day. 

The Common Glutton inhabits all the Arctic regions, 
Norway, Canada, and the uncultivated parts of the United 
States, where it is well known by its depredations on the 
magazines of provisions provided by the Indians. 

Edwards describes the Quickhatch or Wolverene, which 
appears to be no other than the American variety of this 
species. His specimen had lost an eye, and from this tri- 
vial circumstance Linnaeus applied to it the specific epithet 
of Luscus. The American Gluttons seem to be paler in 
colour those of the Old World. 

The Grison (Viverra Vittata, Lin.) is one of the few 
animals that have the fur of a deeper colour underneath 
than on the back. The head, from between the eyes, top 
and sides of the neck, and back, crupper, flank, and tail, 
are of a pale gray, each hair being coloured alternately 
black and yellowish white ; the muzzle, lower jaw, under 
part of the neck, paws, and belly are black ; a pale gray or 
whitish line from each side of the head, which goes from be- 
tween the eyes, passes over the ears to the sides of the neck. 

The body is elongated, and its step is more decidedly 
plantigrade than in the common species. The toes are 
semi-webbed ; the ears are small ; the tongue rough ; the 
eye-pupils round ; and it has slight mustachios. The fur is 
of two sorts : woolly, of a pale gray colour, and silky black 
or annulated black and white, longest on the back, flanks, 
and tail. It measures about eighteen inches from nose to 
tail, which is about six inches long. 

It is a very ferocious little animal, killing and devouring 
small quadrupeds, birds, reptiles, fyc; and although capable 


of domestication, to a certain degree, and apparently 
docile, when confined and well supplied with food, it will 
never fail to evince the sanguinary cruelty of its nature, 
whenever a less powerful creature falls within its reach. 

It inhabits South America, especially Paraguay, where it 
is very common ; Buenos Ayres, and the vicinity of Suri- 
nam, where, however, it is scarce. 

An individual, possessed by M.F. Cuvier, had, notwith- 
standing its natural ferocity, nevertheless, been tamed to a 
very considerable degree. It appeared to recognise no per- 
son in particular, but it was fond of play, and, for that 
purpose, all comers were alike to it. It seemed to derive 
pleasure from being stroked down the back with the hand. 
When invited to play, it would turn over, return with its 
paws the caresses addressed to it, bite gently the fingers 
it could seize, but never so as to hurt or wound them. One 
might almost have imagined that it felt the degree of resist- 
ance which the skin was capable of making, and propor- 
tioned the force of its bite accordingly, when it meant only 
to express its joy. It knew the fingers of a person without 
seeing them. Nevertheless, this animal preserved its fe- 
rocity for all those living beings that could become its prey. 
Even when satiated with food, it testified, in a lively man- 
ner, the desire of getting possession of such animals. One 
day, it broke the bars of its cage to attack a Lemur that 
was within reach, which it mortally wounded. When it 
could catch a bird, it killed it directly, and laid it by for 
provision, as was its custom to do with the meat it received, 
when it had eaten sufficiently. 

The Taira or Galera of Brown's Jamaica, (Mustela 
Barbara) is about the size of the Common Marten, to 
which, also, it bears a similarity, in general form. It is 
this species which is said to have but four cheek-teeth in 
the upper jaw, on each side. The fur is uniformly black, 
except that there is a large white patch covering the under 
part of the throat. 


D'Azzara, who describes this animal, at considerable 
length, under the name of the Great Weazle, gives us no 
account of its habits. It is said, however, to dig a retreat 
for itself in the earth, and, as to its general habits, to re- 
semble the Grison. It is an inhabitant of South America. 

There is a specimen, in the French Museum, drawn by 
Major Hamilton Smith, and which, by his kindness, we are 
enabled to present here. 

The Rattel is another species of Glutton, with a thick 
and heavy body. The head is moderately large, devoid of 
external ears ; the tongue aculeated ; the fur composed of 
rough long hairs, ash-coloured on the forehead, upper part 
of the head, neck, shoulders, back, and tail. It is black on 
the muzzle, round the eyes, on the lower jaw, the ears, 
under part of the neck, belly, breast, thighs, and legs, the 
gray colour being separated from the black by a brighter 
gray line, about an inch in width. 

This species seems to have been considered as exclusively 
African, and is designated, by Linnaeus, under the addition 
Capensis ; but General Hardwicke gives us an account, in 
the ninth volume of the Linnsean Transactions, of an ani- 
mal proper to India, which we shall, in part, subjoin, pre- 
suming it to be the same as the species in question. 

He says, " The claws are unequal, those of the fore-feet 
very long, and awl-shaped; the three middle ones much 
longer than the two lateral ; the interior toe very remote 
from the rest ; the claws of the hind toes remarkably short, 
nearly equal, and bearing no comparison to the strength of 
the fore-feet. 

" This animal is found in several parts of India, along 
the courses of the Ganges and Jumna, in the high banks 
which, in many parts, border these rivers. It is rarely seen 
by day, but at night visits neighbouring towns and vil- 
lages, inhabited by Mahomedans, and scratches up the re- 
cently-buried bodies of the dead, unless they are quickly 
covered with thorny bushes. 


" The natives, when encouraged by the expectation of 
purchasers, dig the animals out of their subterraneous re- 
treats, and take them alive. The full-grown ones are with 
difficulty secured, and seldom bear confinement long, but 
roll and beat themselves about till they die. When taken 
young, they are very manageable, docile, and playful. It is 
a bold animal ; its hide remarkably thick, and its strength 
too much for most dogs of common size. Its general food 
is flesh, in any state; but it is remarkably eager after birds, 
and living rats seem almost equally acceptable. It has an 
inclination to climb upon walls, hedges, and trees : this, 
however, it seems to execute clumsily ; but seldom falls, 
and will ramble securely upon every arm of a branching 
tree, that proves strong enough to bear its weight, without 
much motion. This species burrows with great facility, 
scratching the earth like a Dog, with the fore-feet, and ex- 
pelling the loosened soil to the distance of two or three 
yards backward. In ten minutes, it will work itself under 
cover, in the hardest ground, and is restless till it can form 
such a retreat to sleep in. It sleeps much by day, is watch- 
ful during the night, discovering inquietude, by a hoarse 
call or bark proceeding from the throat. The hair is short 
and wiry, nor has it any of the softness of fur. It is known 
to the natives of Hindostan by the name of Beejoo." 

The Nyentek of the Javanese, the Gulo Orientalis of Hors- 
field, has been described by that eminent naturalist, in his 
Zoological Researches, and beautifully engraved by Taylor. 
It seems to be confined to some of the mountainous parts of 
Java, and is very rare, the Doctor never having been able 
to see it alive. It is somewhat smaller than the English 
Polecat, and is rather more slender in the body than the 
Gluttons in general. The fur is thick, consisting of long hairs, 
closely arranged, silky at the base, of a brown colour, and 
somewhat glossy, with a slight tint of reddish-brown. In cer- 
tain lights, it appears diversified with grayish and tawny. 
This fur covers the greatest part of the body and head, and 


t=3 I 

M n| 

H vS 

§ m 




the whole of the tail and extremities. The sides of the head, 
the neck, the throat, breast, and a broad patch on the top 
of the head, which passes gradually, decreasing in breadth, 
to the middle of the back, are white, with an obscure tint 
of Isabella-yellow, of different degrees of intensity. This 
colour, also, exists less distinctly in a longitudinal band, 
along the lowest part of the abdomen. The tail is nearly 
half the length of the body, is somewhat bushy, and termi- 
nated with long bristly hairs. 

To these described, admitted species, we must add some 
notice of two drawings, in our possession, of animals which 
have been referred to this sub-division. In doing so, however, 
here, and in many other places, in which we may think it ne- 
cessary to insert figures from our collection, without having 
had the opportunity of inspecting the subjects whence they 
were taken, or examining the character of their dentition, by 
which alone the species may be ascertained, we cannot but 
express a hope that our motives will be properly appre- 
ciated. Possessed of an extensive collection of many figures, 
which cannot, by mere superficial detail, be referred with 
certainty to particular groups, it seems, nevertheless, an 
unnecessary fastidiousness, injurious, perhaps, in some mea- 
sure, to the cause of science, to withhold them. Whatever, 
therefore, is not said of them positively, must betaken con- 
ditionally, and their location in particular, in the Cuvierian 
system, is merely presumptive, and subject to investigation. 

The first of these is from an animal in M.Temminck's 
celebrated museum, and is named by him, Gulo Larvatus, 
the Masked Glutton. It is larger and longer than the Pole- 
cat. Its colour is a mixture of olive-brown and gray, but 
the end of the tail and the feet are black ; the ground-colour 
of the head is black, but a white streak passes down the 
forehead to the nose; there is also a whitish circle round each 
eye, and a pale band passes round the throat from ear to ear. 

The second was in Mr. Bullock's late museum, and was 
referred to this sub-genus. It may be called, conditionally? 


the ferruginous Glutton, Gulo Castaneus. It measured 
nearly four feet, from the nose to the end of the tail, which 
was two-thirds the length of the body. It was long, slender, 
and vermiformed like the Weasels ; but the limbs were ex- 
tremely robust. The head was broad, and depressed ; the 
eyes were very near the nostrils ; the ears were far back, 
and the whole appearance of the animal strongly indicated 
a predacious and savage nature. The fur was long and 
rough, of a dark brown and chestnut-colour mixed ; the 
tail was nearly black, and the feet sepia. The habitat and 
manners of this animal were entirely unknown. 

The Digitigrades. 

We are now arrived at the second tribe of the Carnivorous 
family, distinguished by their quick and light mode of loco- 
motion on the extremities of the toes instead of the whole 
sole of the foot, from heel to toe, in the manner of the 

This mode of arrangement, like every other human in- 
vention, is imperfect, inasmuch as we observe certain spe- 
cies, which by their general analogies, must be placed with 
the Digitrade Carnivora, still to approximate the Planti- 
grade mode of walking. 

Activity, and, consequently, the digitrade step, is a ne- 
cessary ingredient to the perfection of carnivorous regimen. 
All the species, therefore, in this tribe are more exclusively 
flesh-eaters than the preceding tribe of the third, or Carni- 
vorous family, of the order in question. 

The four first sub-divisions of the Digitigrades of our 
author, distinguished by a single tuberculous tooth at the 
back of the upper jaw, form a group which may be conve- 
niently contemplated by the English reader, under the name 
of Weasels, from which the true Viverrse are removed. 

It is extremely interesting to trace the progress of Nature, 
in all her works, as she inclines from one state of things, 
through various and almost imperceptible gradations, to 

f ff f ■■S ( ; ' TMm 

1 ss^f- 


another. The first dawn of animal life is so nearly allied to 
vegetable existence, that we are puzzled in concluding 
which to call it : organization improves, and the semivege- 
table zoophites are exchanged for others, in which animal 
life assumes a more decided form : we then pass, imper- 
ceptibly, by an infinite number of species, linked, as itwere, 
in some one or more particulars, one with another, through 
the insects and worms, mollusca and crustacea,to the osseous 
animals. Here again, as with the rest, nothing is constant 
but inconstancy ; no two species are alike; and, although 
many may be found corresponding almost altogether in 
construction, faculties, and pursuits, yet they will differ 
from each other relatively to the means bestowed on each. 

Among the flesh-eating animals, the Felinae and the 
Hyaenas (to be treated of shortly) maybe considered as 
purely or perfectly carnivorous. Their powers are more or 
less calculated for offensive warfare, and their teeth are not 
adapted to the mastication of any other than animal food. 

The various species hitherto known by the name of 
Weasels, with the exception of a few, stand, in this re- 
spect, next in order among the carnivorous quadrupeds, 
since the physical character of the teeth shows, that they 
are destined to seek in flesh their principal aliment; though 
a slight departure from the carnivorous form indicates 
a corresponding approach to the substitution of a vegetable 
diet. Their disposition, nevertheless, is extremely cruel ; 
but from inferiority in size and powers, they are eapable 
only of an inferior degree of mischief. 

They have a large, perfect molar tooth, placed behind 
the carnivorous teeth, in the upper jaw. The other cheek- 
teeth also, although they have cutting or carnivorous lobes 
on the outer side, are more or less tuberculated on the inner ; 
a character, which indicates a slight approach to the use of 
a vegetable diet, as it enables them, though in a small 
degree, and very clumsily, to masticate this sort of food. 

The last or molar tooth takes a direction inwards with 


the other cheek-teeth, and exposes a very large and flat sur- 
face. The reversed figure of the upper jaw, in the opposite 
plate, is intended to exhibit it. The corresponding tooth 
to this, in the Cat tribe, which we shall take occasion to 
call the auxiliary carnivorous or cheek-tooth, is much 
smaller, is placed more on an inclined plane in the mouth, 
and seems destined to receive the cutting edge of that op- 
posite to it ; whence it cannot act as a molar or grinding 
tooth, but merely as facilitating the cutting operation. But 
the large flat tooth of the Weasels is met by a correspond- 
ing flat surface, in the opposite teeth ef the lower jaw, the 
last of which is small, and perfectly flat ; the third lobe, 
also, of the last but one, or largest, is flat, and both these 
flat surfaces are brought into contact with the opposite flat 
tooth before described ; so that if any substance be placed 
between them when the mouth is about to close, it will be 
squeezed or pounded ; while any thing placed on the flat 
tooth of the Felinee would be exposed to the action of the 
cutting edge of its opposite, and consequently be divided, 
and not pounded. 

The Weasels are very slender and long, and possess a pe- 
culiar pliability of body, which enables them to pass through 
very narrow and winding apertures ; whence they are called 
vermiform animals, and a verminium genus by Ray. 

The head is small and oval, and the forehead flattish ; 
the jaws are rather short ; the external ears are short, and 
rounded; the tongue is nearly smooth ; their legs are very 
short in proportion to the length of their bodies, having 
five toes before and behind, armed with strong, curved, 
acute claws, which, in many of the species, are very slightly 
retractile. The tail isof a moderate length. They have no 
glandular pouch near the anus, for, we must recollect the 
true viverras are not included, but they have some small 
glands placed there, that secrete a fatty substance, which 
has a strong, and, to many, a very disagreeable odour, 
although it is highly prized by others. 


1 Tolecab. 

Z Me<p7iztzc W&asel'. 

3 Mar//// 

4- Martin Upper jaw reversed-. 

5 Otter. 

6 Civet. 

r-~,j m --p,,Z7,,7,,J 7?„ i/ n.WJmMaZer Marclt 7./S27- 


Their teeth, however, differ amongst the several species, 
and seem to indicate that they are not all equally carni- 
vorous ; some groups being found to vary from others in 
this particular. Hence, as we have seen, they are divided 
by the number and conformation of the cheek-teeth, into 
the sub-genera of the Putorii, or Polecats ; the Mustelce, or 
Martens ; the Mephites, or Mephitic Weasels ; and the 
Lutree, or Otters. The viverrae are classed with the Dogs, 
on account, also, of a similarity of the teeth of these ani- 
mals with those of the canine genus. 

The first of these, the Putorii or Polecats, have no 
tubercle on the inner side of the carnivorous tooth in the 
lower jaw ; the tuberculous tooth in the upper jaw, very 
long ; two false cheek-teeth in the upper, and three in the 
lower ; and the muzzle shorter and thicker than that of the 
next sub-division, or Martens. 

• The fur of the Common Polecat is of two sorts, the one 
long and shining, of a brown-black colour ; the other, silky, 
short, and yellowish, or fulvous-white. Hence the animal 
is brown on those parts most furnished with long hairs, as 
on the back, fyc. ; and yellow, where the other sort most 
prevail, as on the belly ; the legs and tail are black-brown ; 
round the mouth, at the corner of the ears, and on the fore- 
head, there is some white ; the body is about eighteen inches 
long ; the tail, six or eight inches ; the head is rather shorter 
than that of the Marten, and displays additional powers of 
jaw ; the ears are small and round ; the eye is small, and 
the eye-pupil is elongated transversely ; the tongue is acu- 
leated ; the feet are pentadactylous, and the toes are semi- 
palmate ; the thumb is very short, and the third and fourth 
finger, of equal length, are the longest. The noxious va- 
pour of the Polecat proceeds from a yellowish viscous secre- 
tion, produced by glands on each side of the anus. 

From the habits of this species, it is extremely destruc- 
tive, as every animal it can conquer falls a victim to its 


appetite. It is strong and active; and, by bringing all the 
feet near together, and drawing the back into an arch, 
springs with great force on its intended victim, which it 
generally kills expeditiously, and with a single bite on the 
head, making a wound scarcely perceptible. Its facility of 
passing through a small hole, enables it to get admission to 
outhouses and barns ; and if no sufficient aperture be found 
below, it is in general able to find and reach one on or 
under the roof, to enable it to proceed to its cruel office of 
devastation within, or to lie concealed till a fit opportunity 
offer for its predatory operations. Its work of destruction 
is also frequently more extensive, from its habit of sucking 
the blood, and leaving the carcass of its prey until it can 
find a convenient time for dragging it to its hiding-place. 
Even the finny race is not secure from the attack of the 
Polecat ; fish-ponds are exposed to its depredations, as well 
as poultry-yards, dairies, warrens, preserves, and beehives ; 
the hole of a Polecat has been found to contain the mu- 
tilated remains of a number of eels. 

It either takes possession of a rabbit-hole, or prepares for 
itself a subterraneous retreat, which is in general found to 
be protected by the ramifications of the roots of a tree ; a 
practice apparently originating in that degree of intellect 
and foresight, which the Creator has so remarkably be- 
stowed upon all the races of animals, when necessary for 
their preservation or propagation. Here, or in some secure 
hiding-place, under a hay-stack, or in a barn, or outhouse, 
the female produces her young, generally five or six in num- 
ber at a time, which she accustoms, when very young, to 
suck blood and eggs. 

When disabled, irritated, or dying, the fetid smell from 
this animal is almost insupportable ; and the place where 
it is destroyed will not lose the scent for a considerable 
length of time. It is very tenacious of life ; and a scuffle 
with a Polecat should be conducted with caution. If not able 
to escape from a man, it will, in desperation, attack him,- 


and when no longer capable of either, will seem to show 
malevolence, even in death, by emitting its offensive vapour. 

The name by which the Romans designated this animal 
does not seem to be certainly known. Its modern scientific 
epithet, Putorius, is very applicable and descriptive, though 
others of its American congeners seem more eminently en- 
titled to the distinction. 

It should seem that the Ferret is a southern or mere albi- 
nose variety of the Polecat, at least if the generative faculty 
be made a test of variety, for they will produce an offspring 
partaking of the appearance of both. The Ferret is smaller 
than the Polecat, and is of a uniform lighter colour. The 
eyes are red. 

It does not appear to be indigenous either in France or 
England, but to have been imported from the northern 
parts of Africa, as reported by Strabo ; for when a Ferret 
is lost here, as is very common in the chase in summer, it 
is generally understood that it does not survive the follow- 
ing winter. As we are enabled to turn its sanguinary in- 
clinations and predacious habits (which are, perhaps, not 
much inferior to those of the Polecat) to our advantage, 
the Ferret is fostered and preserved by art in our climate, 
which would soon destroy it if left to nature. 

It is bred in this country in casks or boxes, and fed on 
bread and milk, with flesh occasionally, to encourage its 
carnivorous appetite. In this state it is trained to enter 
the burrows of Rabbits and Rats, being previously muzzled, 
both to prevent its destroying the game, and to anticipate 
its habit of lying down to sleep in the burrow after being 
saturated with the blood of its victim, from which even 
smoke will not always rouse and remove it. Its appear- 
ance alone is sufficient to drive out the terrified tenants of 
these retreats, which are caught in purse-nets fixed before 
their holes ; or if they escape this snare, become exposed 
to the attack of men and dogs without. 

This animal seems to be the least domesticated of all those 


that have submitted to the power of man. It seems not even 
to know, much less to have any affection for its master ; if he 
calls it, the animal neither answers nor pays any attention ; 
if he caresses, it exhibits no gratification ; and if it once suc- 
ceeds in escaping from its confinement, it never will, as many 
others do, return to it again. Time and habit, which act 
generally on the individual or on the race of other domestic 
animals, never soften the natural unbending character of 
its disposition, nor has it ever been brought to any other 
use than that of destroying Rabbits and vermin. 

A breed is produced between this animal and the Pole- 
cat, which is much prized for the chase of Rabbits, 
Rats, 8fc. 

The females are smaller than the males, breed twice a 
year, and generally produce five at a time. 

The Javanese Ferret, named conditionally by M. Cuvier 
Nudipes, has the same system of dentition and of senses as 
the Polecats, and differs only in the sole of the feet and 
colour of the fur. The former is more naked ; the latter is 
bright golden yellow, except on the head and at the end of 
the tail, which are yellowish white. These perhaps may 
not amount to specific differences. 

The Sarmatian Weasel is shaped like the Polecat, but 
differs materially from that species in the colours of the fur, 
being yellow brown spotted with yellow and white patches 
It measures about fifteen inches from nose to tail, which is 
about six or seven more. 

Pallas states that this animal is never seen to drink unless 
it be of the blood of its prey. He gives an ample descrip- 
tion of its manners, #c., which, as they accord very much 
with those of its congener, the Common Polecat, we shall, 
for brevity's sake, not notice further than by observing, 
that it is the relentless enemy of almost all animals it 
can conquer, and that it lies in a hole during the day of 
which it has either dispossessed another animal or dug for 
itself. When irritated, it emits a scent and erects the fur 


in the manner of a Cat. Its beautifully spotted skin is at 
present much in request among the furriers. 

The Common Weasel is one of the smallest of this nume- 
rous race, but is the most extensively diffused over the earth's 
surface. Its general length is about seven inches, with a tail 
measuring two and a half. It is of a pale red or yellow 
brown colour, whiter beneath. It emits an offensive odour, 
in common with many of the tribe, but it is an elegant little 
animal. It feeds on Field-mice, Birds, fyc, and will attack 
animals larger than itself. It lives under roots of trees or 
in banks, and will run up a wall in pursuit of its prey. Its 
body, altogether, is extremely flexible. Though a ferocious 
little creature, there are instances of its being perfectly 
tamed. * 

There is a variety, which has been described by Linnaeus, 
in his Fauna Suecica, as a distinct species, under the name 
of Mustela Nivalis, which has since been classed sometimes 
as a variety of this, and sometimes of the Ermine ; but al- 
though it has the colour of the latter, it seems to be more 
nearly related to this, because of its being of the same size ; 
and the black hairs which terminate the tail are much 
fewer than those of the Ermine, the black also is of a dif- 
ferent tinge. It breeds twice or thrice a year, generally 
brings forth four or five at a birth, and deposits them on 
a bed of dry leaves in a hollow tree. 

The Stoat or Ermine, like the common Weasel, is widely 
spread over the earth, and is found in America, as well as 
in Europe and Asia. It is in general about ten inches long, 
and the tail is half the length of the body. This animal 
exhibits, in a remarkable degree, a peculiarity which is 
proper also to a few others : the whole upper part of the 
body is of a red brown colour, during summer, but this va- 
nishes in winter, when the upper part becomes perfectly 
white, and the belly yellowish. The tip of the tail is at all 
times black. In the latter state it is called the Ermine, 

Vol. II. U 


when the fur is greatly esteemed and in much request, parti- 
cularly for ornamenting habiliments of office and dignity. 

This extraordinary mutation of colour, however, is nearly 
confined to those individuals that are met with in high la- 
titudes, as in Norway and Siberia : but the Stoat, which 
is very common in England, is seldom found white in this 
country, though in the winter it is occasionally seen here, 
and more frequently in Scotland, in a sort of intermediate 
condition, appearing to be assuming the pure white dress, 
yet as if the force of the cause, whatever it is, were insuf- 
ficient to do its office completely. BufFon had one of these 
animals brought to him in its white dress. He kept it con- 
fined, and observed the change of colour, which commenced 
early in March, and was completed by the 17th of that 
month. The animal died afterwards, in consequence, as is 
stated, of substituting milk for its diet instead of flesh. 

It is surely a task well worthy the attention of the phy- 
siologist, to ascertain the exciting cause, as well as the 
mode, by which this strange operation of nature on an 
animal body is produced, We have data enough to con- 
clude, perhaps, that it is the result of climate, since it is 
observed in those animals chiefly, if not wholly, which are 
found in the Polar regions ; we know also that the new 
colour is produced together with a new coat or fur, but 
why the new fur should reflect rays differing from the old 
is not explained ; in short, we seem as yet to be quite in 
the dark as to the excitement, the mode of operation, and 
the object intended. 

The habits of the Stoat correspond in general with those 
of the Polecat, though, being smaller, it is less capable of 
mischief. It will eagerly attack a rat, and soon overcomes 
and kills it by an almost imperceptible wound in the head 
or throat. 

Captain Ross, in his voyage of discovery, found an Er- 
mine in lat. 73° 37', where it must necessarily have been 
exposed to an intense degree of cold. 


The Siberian Weasel, or Chorok, is described by Dr. Pallas. 
It resembles the Polecat in size, form, and proportions, but 
differs in its colour, which is of an uniform bright yellow, 
with the face brown and the nostrils white. Its name indi- 
cates its country, where it is an inhabitant of the moun- 
tainous forests. It is said to eat vegetables as well as flesh. 
The Water Polecat, called also the Smaller Otter, the 
Mink or Norek, is found on the banks of rivers, in the north 
and east of Europe, from the Arctic Ocean to the Black Sea, 
as well as in America. In autumn it frequents the rivers and 
lakes, and in spring the torrents. It feeds principally on 
Fish, Frogs, Crawfish, and Aquatic Insects. It has the feet 
semipalmate; but its teeth correspond with those of the 
Polecat tribe rather than with the Otters, and its tail is 
round ; whence it may, with propriety, be named the Water 
Polecat. Its general colour is brown, but the jaws are 
white ; it emits a scent of musk. 

Pallas thinks this is the Minx of America. It is named 
Tutucuri by the Zealanders ; Ncers by the Prussians ; and 
the skin is called nioenk by the furriers. It is very like the 
Sable, and is sometimes fraudulently sold for it, although 
it is by some highly prized, and very much esteemed. 

The Cape Polecat, or Zorillo. (The Zorille of Buffon. Vi- 
verra Zorilla, Gm.) Buffon, Gmelin, and others, describe 
this animal under the name of Viverra Zorilla, or Zorille, 
a name by which the Spanish Americans distinguish the 
Mephitic Weasels, and which means a little Fox. The 
errors of so useful and fascinating a writer as Buffon must 
necessarily be difficult of eradication ; and this transferring 
of the proper name of one species to another has induced 
much confusion on the subject of the Mephitic Weasels. 
The specific character of the teeth, in which this animal 
agrees with the Polecat tribe, and the absence of that super- 
latively noxious stink, which is emitted by the Mephitic 
Weasels, properly speaking, separate it from the latter 



animals ; though it possesses, in common with them, claws 
calculated for digging, which consequently indicate, to a 
certain degree, its mode of life, and distinguish it from the 
other Polecats ; whence it is separated into a distinct genus 
by Iliger : it is also assimilated to the American Mephitic 
Weasels in appearance. Its colour is black, with three 
dorsal white stripes, extending from the occiput to the tail, 
which is spread, and generally carried erect. Notwith- 
standing these similarities, it must not now be confounded 
with the transatlantic Mephitic race, from which it differs 
in the teeth in approaching the Putorii of the old world. 

Major Smith suspects, that the Zorillo of the Cape forms 
a family of several species ; at least the stripes indicate 
great diversity of disposition in the colours of the several 
individuals, which have come under his observation. The 
opposite figure is from one of his drawings. 

However interesting the habits and manners of animals 
may be, it would soon, perhaps, be deemed an unnecessary 
prolixity, to say much on the subject in relation to every 
species. The accordance of their characters and pursuits 
with their physical description may be said to be mathema- 
tically correct ; and if a group be once formed, corresponding 
in material conformation, more especially as it regards the 
leading characters of the teeth, whatever be their relative 
disproportion of size and strength, and wherever they may 
be found, either at the pole, or under a vertical sun, their 
characters will be similar, and their pursuits the same. 

The differences in the teeth which distinguish the Martens 
properly speaking, from the Polecat family, have been al- 
ready noticed in the text ; we shall merely add that they 
have four carnivorous teeth, instead of three, in addition to 
the molar tooth, in the upper jaw, and four below. The 
last lower carnivorous tooth has a rounded lobe on the inner 
side, which fits them something less perfectly for a carni- 


vorous regimen, and enables them, in the same ratio, to 
masticate vegetable matter, and consequently indicates a 
slight diminution in the cruelty and ferocity of their nature. 
The muzzle of the former is rather large, and their claws 
sharp, and slightly retractile. 

Every remove in the works of nature is by a gentle grada- 
tion ; nothing is abrupt : but although these gradations are 
observable in different groups of the Weasels, it is hardly 
to be expected, that the character of each will differ from 
its preceding subdivision very apparently. They are only 
to be observed by minute inspection, which is equally neces- 
sary to discover their consequences ; and the means of the 
latter investigation are much less in our power than the 
former. If the cruel experiment were to be tried of keeping 
the Polecat and Marten without animal food, and on vege- 
tables only, probability indicates that the latter would be 
the survivor. 

The Beech Marten {Mustela Fagorum Ray,) was first 
described by Gesner and Aldrovandus, under the epithet 
domestical which has more reference to the conduct of the 
animal, in secreting itself in outhouses and buildings, than 
to any peculiar disposition it evinces to become tame and 
the associate of mankind, which it will not do unless it is 
taken quite young, and brought up in confinement. It was 
afterwards mentioned by Ray, who calls it Martes Fagorum ; 
whence the French name of it, la Fouine; although it does 
not appear to be particularly fond of the beech-tree. 

The body, from the nose to the anus, is about sixteen 
inches long, and the tail eight inches ; the fur is of two 
sorts ; the first is long and close, and the lower half of it 
of an ash-colour, but the upper half is brown-black, having 
a reddish tinge in some lights ; the second is short, close, 
very soft and fine, and of a whitish or pale ash-colour : it is 
visible through the long hairs. The legs and tail are 
blackish ; the throat and neck of a clear white. 


This animal is frequently found near rural habitations ; 
and the female generally brings forth her young in barns, 
or holes in rocks, which she takes care first to line with 
moss. She generally produces from three to seven young 
ones at a time. 

The Common Marten, {Mustela Abietum, Ray.) ' This 
and the preceding species were confounded together by 
Linnaeus, although it was distinguished by Ray, in his 
excellent Synopsis of Quadrupeds, by the name of Martes 
Abietum, with reference to its being found generally in 

It is rather larger than the Beech Marten, the body, from 
the nose to the anus, being about eighteen inches long, and 
the tail about nine or ten inches. The fur, like that of the 
preceding, is formed of two sorts of hair ; the first is long 
and close, the base of which is ash-colour, but the middle 
yellow, and the tips dark brown. The second sort of fur is 
very fine, rather downy, of a yellowish ash-colour, and not 
entirely hidden by the long hairs ; on the chest, fore legs, 
and tail, it is brown black ; on the throat and neck clear 

This animal is very wild, and hardly ever forsakes the 
thick forest, where it climbs trees with the greatest faci- 
lity, by the aid of its sharp claws, in search of birds and 
their nests. It also attacks squirrels and other small 
quadrupeds. In the spring the female brings forth two or 
three young ones, which she generally places in the nest of 
a squirrel that she has killed ; or in that of a buzzard, 
owl, or some other bird of prey. It is found in the whole 
of the north of Europe, and also in North America, near 
Hudson's Bay. 

The skin of this species is three times as valuable as that 
of the Beech or House Marten. 

The Sable {Mustela Zibellind) is universally known by 
its rich fur. It is brown, with white spots about the head ; 


and gray on the neck ; and differs from the preceding 
Martens in having fur to the extremities of the toes ; a 
natural indication that it is an inhabitant of the cold 
and frozen regions of the earth, as we have seen in the 

The Sable, which is so remarkable for the beauty of its 
skin, is also inferior to none of its kind in what we call 
instinct. It is capable of being rendered very docile ; a 
remarkable instance of which is related by Steller, in one 
that was domesticated in the palace of the Archbishop of 
Tobolsk, which used to wander about the city, and visit the 
neighbours. It will attack and destroy a hare, though 
larger in size than itself ; and it is said also to kill the 
Ermines and Siberian Weasels. 

It is principally an inhabitant of woody countries ; lives 
in holes in the trees, and not under ground; and hunts 
during the night, particularly if it be clear and fine ; but if 
otherwise, retires to sleep. 

If pressed by hunger, it follows Bears, Gluttons, and 
Wolves, as the Chacal does the Lion, to partake of the 
overplus of their meals. It will also then eat fruit, parti- 
cularly that of the service-tree. It is about the size of the 
Common Marten. The hairs of the fur will lie any way in 
which they may be placed. A single skin, of the best qua- 
lity, is said to fetch twelve or fourteen pounds. 

The females, towards the end of March or the beginning 
of April, produce from three to five young. 

The Vison is a native of South America. Buffon says, 
that although its skin was well known in the fur trade, 
the animal to which it belonged was not strictly ascer- 
tained ; that the name has been variously applied ; and 
that no description, to be relied on, has been given of it. 
But he adds, that he has inspected the animal, and found it 
to belong to the family of Martens ; and Cuvier confirms 
his classification. The Vison. like the Pekan, is partly 


aquatic in its habits. It is larger than the Polecat, and of 
a beautiful chestnut colour, except the point of the chin, 
which is white. In size and shape it corresponds with the 
Common Martens. Its paws are covered with hair to the 
nails ; and are semipalmated, not altogether palmated, as 
stated by Gmelin, which probably induced Dr. Shaw to 
place it with the Otters {Lutra Vison). It is probably the 
Minx of Lawson. 

The American Martens are still in some obscurity, and 
some species have probably been confounded. This, by the 
disposition of its colours, approaches very nearly to the 
Martes Lutreola of the north of Europe, and has been often 
confounded with it, although Cuvier has placed the Martes 
Lutreola along with the Polecats, and this with the true 
Martens. The most striking distinction between the two is 
in the brown-black tail, and the point of the lower jaws only 
being white, not like the Martes Lutreola, where both the 
upper lip, and the chin, and neck, are white all through. 
They appear to agree very much in habits, and in the cha- 
racter of the semipalmated feet covered with hair. 

They are generally found on the edge of rivers, and 
burrow under the ground. They feed principally on Fish, 
Water-birds, Rats, and the eggs of Tortoises, 8fC. ; but they 
sometimes approach the houses. The female brings forth 
three or six young at a time. 

The Pekan Weasel, (Mustela Canadenis. L.) is an Ame- 
rican species of the Marten family of the old world, with 
which it corresponds in all the specific characters. It is, 
in general, about eighteen inches long, and the tail mea- 
sures about a foot. 

This animal inhabits holes in the banks of rivers ; and 
feeds more especially on such small quadrupeds as live near 
the water, and on fish. 

The head, neck, shoulders, and upper part of the back 
are varied with gray and brown hairs ; the nose, back of 



the neck, tail, and legs are black -brown. It has mostly a 
white spot under the throat. 

The Fisher-Weasel (Mustela Pennanti) is decidedly- 
distinct, and is so named by the fur-hunters of America. 
It is considerably larger than the Common Weasel ; is of a 
glossy silvery black colour, which is paler towards the fore 
quarters, and slightly rufous about the nose ; the tail and 
legs are velvet black ; the hair is silky, and the fur beautiful. 
The head is small, the ears short, and the claws are very 
much crooked. It inhabits the banks of rivers and lakes, 
and pursues the fish, which are its principal prey, with ease 
and effect. 

The Zona, (Mustela Sinuensis. Humboldt.) The Baron 
Humboldt describes this species of American Marten as 
having the body less vermi-formed than the race in general; 
of a blackish gray colour, with the under parts and insides of 
the ears white; the tail half the length of the body, and but 
little covered with hair. 

The White-eared Weasel, (Mustela Leucotis. Temminck.) 
In the museum of that celebrated naturalist, Mr. Temminck, 
is preserved a Weasel, which he has named Leucotis, ap- 
parently because of the whiteness of the ears. It is twenty 
inches long. The fur is of a deep glossy sepia brown colour, 
like the beaver, but the insides of the ears are white. 

It seems not improbable that this and the preceding may 
be the same as the White-Cheeked Weasel of Pennant. 

The Mephitic Weasels. Most surprising accounts 
have been given, by almost all writers on the animals 
of America, of certain Weasels, found in various parts 
of that continent, which are provided by nature with a 
very singular but effectual mode of self-defence, in the 
power they possess of emitting, at will, a most insupport- 
able and disgusting stench, which seems equally noxious to 


every animal, those of their own species only excepted. 
Such extraordinary powers of defence seem the more unac- 
countable, when it is considered, that the predacious habits 
of these animals, in common with the Weasels in general, 
seem rather to demand means and weapons for offensive 
operations, with which, indeed, they are otherwise well 
provided, than so strange a protection against the attacks 
of others. Timidity of disposition, accompanied with cele- 
rity of motion, afford a frequently availing defence to many 
of the herbivorous animals against their natural enemies ; 
but it is not apparent why extraordinary powers, for mere 
self-preservation, should be granted to animals, whose ex- 
istence depends on their capability of overcoming and de- 
stroying others ; and it does not appear that they actually 
capture or destroy their prey by means of their vapour, but 
merely call it into action when irritated, or attacked, simply 
in self-defence. 

It is scarcely possible to discover, from books, how many 
species of the mephitic Weasels exist. A probability is 
assumed, that the same species has been described by dif- 
ferent writers, under different names, and the numbers of 
them, consequently, erroneously increased. The principal 
external differences in them appear to consist in the num- 
ber of white stripes, which pass down the back and sides 
of the animals, on a black ground. The descriptions of the 
mephitic stench of all seem nearly to accord. 

Buffon collected together several accounts, from various 
voyages and travels, from which, and from the observation 
of a few skins, he established four species. These he called, 
Coase, Conepate, Chinche, and Zorillo; and the supplement 
to his work contains a fifth, under the name of Mouffette 
de Chili. 

The first of these, the Coase, does not, certainly, corre- 
spond with any known animal ; and, as has been surmised, 

CJEbnnaam. Smitti jSs^Vdsl^ 

tww €miiig?€:wm of jbuxw^ 


may be described from a mutilated skin of the Coatimondi, 
a plantigrade animal, whence it has been dismissed as sup- 

The Conepate is thought to be the animal described by 
Catesby, and not the Yagouare of Azara, as this traveller 
conjectured. It is the Viverra Putorius of Gmelin. 

The Chinche, the Viverra Mephitis of Linnaeus, appears 
also to be distinct. 

The Zorillo was certainly described by Buffon, from a 
specimen of the Cape Marten before-mentioned ; and the 
name he attributed to it belongs properly to the animal de- 
scribed in his supplement, under the name of Mouffette de 
Chili. It is, probably, the same as the Viverra Conepatl of 
Hernandez, and the Mapurito of Mutis, which Gmelin 
adopted as a distinct species. 

The Baron Cuvier, in his " Ossemens Fossils," in par- 
ticular, seems to have bestowed very great pains to clear up 
the existing difficulties on the subject of these animals. He 
quotes, from various writers, the description given by each 
of the Mephitic Weasels ; and we shall subjoin the result 
of his inquiries : premising, that their cheek-teeth corre- 
spond in number with those of the Polecat sub-division ; but 
the molar, or flat tooth, is larger ; and the opposite tooth to 
it, in the lower jaw, has two tubercles. The claws on the 
fore feet are also very long, calculated for digging, and in- 
dicating subterraneous habits ; but their most distinctive 
peculiarity consists in the pre-eminently offensive vapour 
they emit, which exceeds any thing of the kind other Wea- 
sels are capable of, and separates them, in a remarkable 
manner, from all other animals. 

Azara (Animaux de Paraguay, t. 1. p. 211) describes the 
Yagouare, which has two white bands, extending to the tail ; 
but which bands, he says, are altogether wanting in certain 
individuals, and are but slightly indicated in others. 

Kalm (Voyage, p. 452) describes the Skunk of the Ame- 


ricans, which has one dorsal white band, and another on 
each side. 

Gemelli-Carreri (Voyage, t. 6. p. 212) mentions the Zo- 
rille merely as being black and white, with a very fine tail. 

Gumilla (Hist. Nat. del'Orenoque, t. 3. p. 240) describes 
the Mafutiliqui of the Indians, having the body spotted 
with black and white. 

Lepage-Dupratz (Hist, de la Louisiane, t. 2. p. 86) de- 
scribes the Puant, the male of which is of a fine black 
colour : and the female black, bordered with white. 

Fernandez (Hist. Nov. Hisp., c. 16. p. 6) describes the 
Ortohula of Mexico, which is black and white, with yellow 
in some parts. Fernandez also mentions the tepemaxtla, 
which is without any yellow. 

Humboldt (Vag. Partie Zoologique) describes the Zorra 
of Quito, which is a plantigrade, with two white bands. 

Hernandez describes the Ysquiepatl, having several white 

Catesby (Carol, ii., p. 62. tab. 62) figures the Mephitic 
Polecat, marked with nine white stripes. 

Buffon (t. 13. pi. 40) has the Conepate, with six white 

Hernandez (Mexico, p. 332) describes the Conepatl, 
having but two white rays. 

Mutis (Act. Holmiens., 1769, p. 68) named from him 
the Mutis {Viverra Mapurito, Gm.), with a single white 
stripe, extending only half-way down the back. This has 
been recognised by the Baron Humboldt. 

Buffon (Suppl. t. 7. pi. 57) describes the Mouffette de 
Chili with two white stripes on the back, which unite 
behind the head, and form a crescent. 

Buffon gives also another, (t. 13. pi. 39) under the name 
of Chinche {Viverra Mephitis, Gm.), with two very large 
white stripes behind. 

Feuillee (Journal du P. Feuillee, p. 272) also describes the 

, ijjji 



■ ■:! 

© w 

















Chinche, having two white rays, which go off, and are dis- 
persed on the sides. 

Raffinesque (Ann. of Nat.) describes the Mephitis In- 
terrupta, which is brown, with two short white parallel 
rays on the head; eight on the back, the four anterior of 
which are equal and parallel, and the four posterior rectan- 

Molina describes the Chinga black, with a band of round 
white spots along the back. 

And Shaw (Gen. Zool. v. i. p. 2) presents us with the 
Mephitic Weasel of Bengal, with spots on the head, four 
white dorsal stripes, and a furry tail. 

We shall now proceed with the description of the Yagou- 
are of Azara. 

This animal is generally identified with the Mouffette de 
Chili of Buffon, and the Viverra Conepatl of Gmelin. It is 
described at length, by Azara, as an inhabitant of South 
America, and generally found in the open country rather 
than in the forests. It lives on insects, eggs, and such 
birds as it can seize by surprise. Its motion is gentle and 
gliding, and it carries its tail horizontally. It will not run 
from a man ; and, indeed, exhibits no signs of fear at the 
sight of any animal, however powerful ; but if it perceive 
itself about to be attacked, it curves its back, raises its 
hairy tail into a vertical position, and then ejects, with con- 
siderable force, its urine, which is mixed with such an in- 
supportably fetid liquid, produced by certain glands for the 
purpose, that neither man, dog, nor any animal, however 
fierce, will venture to touch it. If a single drop of this 
most powerful liquid fall on a garment, it is rendered ab- 
solutely useless ; for washing it twenty times over will not 
destroy its horrible stench, which it will even diffuse 
throughout the whole house in which it is kept. Azara 
declares he was not able to endure the disgusting stink 


which a Dog, that had received it from the Yagouare a 
week before, commnnicated to some furniture, although the 
Dog had been washed and scrubbed with sand above twenty 

This animal is comparatively slow in its motions ; for 
although it gallops occasionally, it does not then go faster 
than a man, It digs holes in the ground for retreat, and 
deposits its young in them. Its fetid urine, when ejected 
in the dark, is said to emit a phosphoric light. 

When they are hunted, it appears the natives irritate 
them first with a long cane, in order to make them void 
their urine, and exhaust their means of defence. They will 
also approach by surprise, and, seizing them by the tail, 
will quickly suspend them by it, in which situation they are 
incapable of emitting their offensive liquor ; and the hunters 
are enabled to destroy the pouch in which it is secreted, 
before they kill and skin them. When taken by these 
means, and deprived of their strange mode of annoyance, 
they are said to be sometimes domesticated. 

Azara observed a considerable tendency in his species to 
variety ; and he found also that their skins became subject 
to change their colours, when kept any time, which seems 
to strengthen the probability, that although animals in 
a wild state, in general, are much less subject to vary than 
those that are domesticated, yet this tribe of Weasels may 
be more particularly liable to this influence, whence indivi- 
duals of the same species may have been described so dif- 
ferently, and treated as distinct. 

The above observations are intended to convey, as nearly 
as possible, the present state of knowledge, or, rather, the 
real state of ignorance existing in regard to the distinctive- 
ness of the species of these animals. Individuals of the 
Mephitic family of Weasels are very seldom brought to this 
country ; and the Zorillo of the Cape, which has been occa- 
sionally to be seen in our menageries and collections, has 


been very generally confounded with the transatlantic 
animals; a confusion which results from the similarity of 
the African Zorillo to the Mephitic Weasels, as well as 
from the former animal being improperly called by an 
American name ; but little additional information can be 
expected on this subject, except from those who have for 
some time resided in America, and are urged to observation 
by an energetic and inquisitive mind. 

Major Hamilton Smith, though he admits the confusion 
of writers, or the varieties of the species, is not prepared 
to discard any that have been described and figured as 
different. He inclines to think the Coase of Buffon, though 
not corresponding with any animal elsewhere described, is 
distinct, principally because the character of the figure has 
something positive, which a mutilated skin could hardly 
have produced. He thinks it may be one of a race, also, 
but little known, namely, the smaller Gluttons or Grisons, 
of at least three undescribed species of which the Major 
has made drawings ; and he would, consequently, not 
dismiss it as factitious, but leave the matter open for future 

The Major acknowledges, also, the Conepatl of Buffon, as 
well as the Chinche, which he has frequently seen, and is 
well figured in Buffon's work. Catesby's animal he also has 
little doubt is distinct. It is longer, more slender, has the 
nose more pointed, and the markings very different from 
the Conepatl, or any other. The Mouffette de Chili is very 
nearly allied to a drawing in the Major's collection, though 
it differs in some degree, resulting, possibly, from the type 
being found in a different part of the country from that of 
Buffon's animal. 

The opposite figure is of the male, of the animal com- 
monly known in America by the name of Skunk. The white 
marks differ in shape in the female. The hairs are long in 


the tail : two-thirds, from their root upwards, they are 
white ; the remaining third of each hair is black. 

These Mephitic animals are very clumsy, and not nearly 
so active as their congeners ; whence a certain awkward- 
ness, resulting from their make, which may be the cause 
of their being provided with their singular mode of defence; 
and thus, as their means of flight are limited, nature has 
supplied them with powers the most effectual, not merely 
for self-defence and preservation, but also for actual an- 
noyance. It is a known fact, that young and sporting dogs, 
unacquainted with their quality, sometimes pounce upon 
them; but the dash of fetid liquid in their nose instantly 
forces them to quit the animal ; they then dig, with miserable 
whinings, in the earth, rub their noses into it, and scratch 
themselves so violently at the same time, as to produce con- 
siderable bleeding. They are seldom appeased till exhausted 
with fatigue, and never will pursue a second of the same 
species. Washing and baking clothes is insufficient ; and 
Mr. Skidder, the owner of the New York Museum (as Major 
Smith states), had a set of clothes spoilt, which, after wash- 
ing, were hung upon the roof of his house, full fifty feet 
high, and yet could be very distinctly smelt some distance 
off in the streets, or the square near the house. On one 
occasion, as the Major was travelling by the coach, the 
vehicle gained upon a Skunk, which was attempting to get 
through a fence, which any other species would have passed 
in a moment ; not succeeding, however, in its endeavours 
before the coach came up with it, it emitted the Mephitic 
vapour, and, by a wisk of the tail, sent it on the seat of the 
driver, next to whom sat a young buxom American girl, all 
of whose clothes were completely ruined by a few drops. 

The residence of Major Smith, in South America, was 
principally in the east and north east low-lands of that con- 
tinent, which are parts but little frequented by the Mephitic 


Weasels. His observations were principally made on such 
as are met with in North America. 

M. F. Cuvier, in his lithographic work, gives a figure and 
description of the Chinche, but as he seems to think it the 
same animal as the Yagouare of d'Azara, we shall avail 
ourselves but little of it. His individual sat habitually on 
its paws, with the tail elevated. 

The Teledu {Mydaus Meliceps of Dr. Horsfield) is very 
nearly allied to the Mephitic Weasels of America, but 
differs from them in its truncated pig-like muzzle, and 
shortened tail : it is also more decidedly plantigrade than 
those animals. 

The figure of this animal, from a drawing by Major 
Hamilton Smith, of a specimen in Paris, differs from the 
beautiful engraving by Taylor, in Dr. Horsfield's work, 
principally, in having the transverse white stripe lower 
down on the shoulders. 

" The Teledu," says Dr. Horsfield, " has a peculiar ex- 
ternal character and physiognomy. Although it generally 
agrees in size with the Polecats of Europe and America, the 
circumstances which influence its appearance are entirely 
different. The heavy form of the body, as well as the head 
gradually narrowed to an obtuse point, call to mind the 
figure of a Hog. The shortness and strength of the neck, 
and the manner of walking, by placing the entire sole of the 
foot on the ground, contribute further to give to the animal 
a sluggish appearance. The eyes are placed high in the 
head, and in their size and disposition have considerable 
resemblance to those of a Hog ; the eye-lids are rigid, and 
well provided with eye-brows, consisting of minute bristles ; 
the irides are of a dark colour, and the pupil is circular. 
The ears are nearly concealed by the hairy covering of the 
body; but these organs are provided externally with an 
oblong concha, which surrounds the posterior part, and 
passing the lower extremity of the meatus auditorius, 
Vol. If. X 


forms a small curve inward. No whiskers are perceptible, 
but a few long straggling hairs arise from the upper lip. 
The covering of the Teledu is adapted to the elevated and 
cold regions which it inhabits. The fur is composed of long 
delicate hairs, silky at the base, which are closely arranged, 
and afford a very warm coat to the body. On the sides of 
the neck the hairs are lengthened, and have a curved direc- 
tion upward and backward ; on the top of the head, meet- 
ing from before and behind, they form a small transverse 
crest,, and on the abdomen they are thinly disposed, and 
afford, in some parts, a view of the naked skin. The colour 
of the hairs is blackish-brown, more or less intense on every 
part of the body, except the crown of the head, a streak 
along the back, and the extremity of the tail. These parts 
are white, with a slight tint of yellow. The mark on the 
head has a rhomboidal form, obtuse and rounded anteriorly, 
but gradually attenuated as it passes to the shoulders, 
where it unites with the streak on the back : in some indi- 
viduals this streak is interrupted. On the abdomen, the 
brown is of a lighter hue, inclining to grayish or rufous. 
The covering is subject to several variations. The tail is 
scarcely half an inch long, but the hairs covering and sur- 
rounding it project above an inch from the body. The limbs 
are short and stout, and the feet agree in structure with 
those of the allied genera, being formed for the plantigrade 
manner of walking. The claws are united at the base by a 
thick membrane, which envelopes this part as a sheath. 
Those of the fore feet are nearly double the size of those 
of the hind feet. In place of the pouches and reservoirs of 
fetid fluids with which several genera of this family are 
provided, the Mydaus has two glands of an oblong form, 
about one inch long, and half an inch wide, near the extre- 
mity of the rectum : they are placed opposite to each other, 
and are individually furnished with an excretory duct nearly 
half an inch long, which communicates with this intestine. 


In the middle of each duct is a very minute aperture, sur- 
rounded by a muscular ring, somewhat swelled, which 
enables the animal at pleasure to discharge or to retain the 
fetid fluid secreted by the glands. The ducts enter the 
rectum about half an inch within the external aperture. 
The internal surface of these glands is covered with 
numerous wrinkles disposed transversely. The fluid se- 
creted by them is perfectly analogous, in its odour, to that 
secreted by several species of Mephitis in America, parti- 
cularly to that of the Mephitis Striata of Fischer. Having 
experienced that of the latter, which is known in most parts 
of North America by the name of Skunk, I readily recog- 
nised it in Java." 

The dentition of the mammiferous genera is the main 
foundation of our author's arrangement of that branch of the 
Animal Kingdom : in this particular the species in question 
agrees, except in a slight variation of the incisive and canine 
teeth with the Mephitic Weasels of America. In other cha- 
racters, however, it differs from them, and M. F. Cuvier, 
who describes the Teledu under the name Telagon, refers to 
these discrepancies, as follows: — The Chinche-Mephitisdi- 
midiata, has a rounded head, a short pointed, not very broad 
muzzle, which calls to mind the head of the Fitchet, or 
rather of the Cat, if the muzzle of this were less obtuse. 
On the contrary, the head of the Telagon calls to mind the 
elongate muzzle and snout of the Badger, with a face still 
narrower. The Chinche further has a large tail, furnished 
with long bushy hairs, which it elevates as a plume on its 
back, in the same manner as Squirrels. The Telagon, on 
the contrary, is almost deprived of this organ, its tail being 
scarcely an inch long, and very scantily provided with hairs. 
The examination of the bony parts further confirms the pro- 
priety of separating these animals into distinct genera. The 
elongation of the head of the Telagon, and the narrowness 
of its muzzle, are the cause that the grinders are indivi. 

X 2 



dually more separated from each other, and that the front 
teeth, instead of being placed nearly in a straight line, are 
disposed in form of a very small arch or curve. There is 
also a difference in the relative arrangement of the grinders 
in the jaw-bones, which affects the communication of the 
nostrils and the posterior parts of the mouth. 

The minute details of Dr. Horsfield are highly interesting 
to the professed zoologist, but in a general point of view it 
must be admitted, that the multiplication of divisions tends 
to hinder the progress of science, and we should, therefore, 
wish to see the Mydaus Meliceps treated as a species of the 
Mephitic Weasel, differing in certain specific characters. 

" The Mydaus Meliceps" (we again quote Dr. Horsfield,) 
" presents a singular fact in its geographical distribution. 
It is confined exclusively to those mountains which have 
an elevation of more than 7000 feet above the level of 
the ocean ; on these it occurs with the same regularity 
as many plants. The long extended surface of Java, 
abounding with conical points which exceed this eleva- 
tion, affords many places favourable for its resort. On 
ascending these mountains, the traveller scarcely fails to 
meet with our animal, which, from its peculiarities, is uni- 
versally known to the inhabitants of these elevated tracts ; 
while to those of the plains, it is as strange as an animal 
from a foreign country. A traveller would inquire in vain 
for the Teledu at Batavia, Semarang, or Surabaya. In my 
visits to the mountainous districts I uniformly met with it, 
and as far as the information of the natives can be relied 
on, it is found on all the mountains. It is, however, more 
abundant on those which, after reaching a certain elevation, 
consist of numerous connected horizontal ridges, than on 
those which terminate in a defined conical peak. Of the 
former description, are the Mountain Prahu and the 
Tengger Hills, which are both distinctly indicated in 
Sir Stamford Raffles's Map of Java; here I observed it in 


great abundance. It was the less common on Mountain 
Gede, South of Batavia; on the Mountain Ungarang, South 
of Semarang; and on the Mountain Ijen, at the farthest 
eastern extremity; but I traced its range through the whole 

" Most of these mountains and ridges furnish tracts of 
considerable extent, fitted for the cultivation of wheat, and 
other European grains. Certain extra-tropical fruits are 
likewise raised with success: Peaches and Strawberries 
grow in considerable abundance, and the common culinary 
vegetables of Europe are cultivated to great extent. To 
most Europeans and Chinese, a residence in these elevated 
regions is extremely desirable ; and even the natives, who 
in general dislike its cold atmosphere, are attracted by the 
fertility of the soil, and find it an advantage to establish 
villages, and to clear grounds for culture. Potatoes, 
Cabbages, and many other culinary vegetables are exten- 
sively raised, as the entire supply of the plains in these 
articles depends on these elevated districts. Extensive 
plantations of Wheat, and of other European grains, as well 
as of Tobacco, are here found, where Rice, the universal 
product of the plains, refuses to grow. These grounds and 
plantations are laid out in the deep vegetable mould, where 
the Teledu holds its range as the most ancient inhabitant 
of the soil. In its rambles in search of food, this animal 
frequently enters the plantations, and destroys the roots of 
young plants; in this manner it causes extensive injury, 
and on the Tengger Hills particularly, where these planta- 
tions are more extensive than in other elevated tracts, its 
visits are much dreaded by the inhabitants : it burrows in 
the earth with its nose in the same manner as Hogs, and in 
traversing the hills, its nocturnal toils are observed in the 
morning in small ridges of mould recently turned up. 

" The Mydaus forms its dwelling at a slight depth beneath 


the surface, in the black mould, with considerable inge- 
nuity. Having selected a spot, defended above by the roots 
of a large tree, it constructs a cell or chamber, of a globular 
form, having a diameter of several feet, the sides of which 
it makes perfectly smooth and regular ; this it provides with 
a subterraneous conduit or avenue, about six feet in length, 
the external entrance to which it conceals with twigs and 
dry leaves. During the day it remains concealed, like a 
Badger in its hole ; at night it proceeds in search of its 
food, which consists of insects and their larvae, and of 
Worms of every kind : it is particularly fond of the Common 
Lumbrici, or Earth Worms, which abound in the fertile 
mould. These animals, agreeably to the information of the 
natives, live in pairs, and the female produces two or three 
young at a birth. 

'- The motions of the Mydaus are slow, and it is easily 
taken by the natives, who by no means fear it. During my 
abode on the Mountain Prahu, I engaged them to procure 
me individuals for preparation ; and as they received a 
desirable reward, they brought them to me daily in greater 
numbers than I could employ. Whenever the natives sur- 
prise them suddenly, they prepare them for food ; the flesh 
is then scarcely impregnated with the offensive odour, and 
is described as very delicious. The animals are generally 
in excellent condition, as their food abounds in fertile 

"The structure of the teeth affords to the Mydaus but feeble 
means of defence ; the front teeth in the lower jaw have nearly 
a horizontal position, and the canine teeth are comparatively 
small and weak. The animal being slow in its motions, its 
manner of defence is of a negative nature, and, as in the 
American Mephitis, consists in preventing the approach of an 
enemy by an intolerably offensive odour: hence these animals 
have received the names of Mephitis, Mydaus, Stifling Wea- 


sel, Bete-puante, fyc. The effort by which the fetid matter 
is projected, is described by the natives as a crepitus 
ventris : the muscular coat of the glands, as far as I have 
ascertained, serves only to propel the fluid into the rectum, 
at the pleasure of the animal : its discharge, as a means of 
annoyance to its enemies, is effected by a general effort of 
the abdominal muscles. On the Mountain Prahu, the 
natives who were most active in supplying me with speci- 
mens of the Mydaus, assured me that it could only propel 
the fluid to the distance of about two feet : the fetid matter 
itself is of a viscid nature ; its effects depend on its great 
volatility, and they spread through a great extent ; the 
entire neighbourhood of a village is infected by the odour 
of an irritated Teledu, and in the immediate vicinity of the 
discharge it is so violent as in some persons to produce 
syncope. The various species of Mephitis in America differ 
from the Mydaus in the capacity of projecting the fetid 
matter to a greater distance. 

" The Mydaus is not ferocious in its manners, and taken 
young, like the Badger, it might easily be tamed. An in- 
dividual, which I kept some time in confinement, afforded 
me an opportunity of observing its disposition ; it soon be- 
came gentle, and reconciled to its situation, and did not, at 
any time, emit the offensive fluid. I carried it with me 
from Mountain Prahu to Bladeran, a village on the decli- 
vity of that mountain, where the temperature was more 
moderate. While a drawing was made, the animal was 
tied to a small stake ; it moved about quietly, burrowing 
the ground with its snout and feet, as if in search of food, 
without taking notice of the bystanders, or making violent 
efforts to disengage itself : on earth worms (lumbrici) being 
brought, it ate voraciously ; holding one extremity of a 
worm with its claws, its teeth were employed in tearing 
the other : having consumed about ten or twelve, it became 
drowsy, and making a small groove in the earth, in which 


it placed its snout, it composed itself deliberately, and was 
soon sound asleep." 

The Otters, in the system of dentition, at least, present 
but little deviation from the sub-division of Polecats and 
Martens, except that their teeth are more developed in cer- 
tain parts. We shall, therefore, add nothing on this head, 
to the Baron's observations in the text, but merely present 
a figure of the teeth, in illustration of his description. 

The large flat head and short ears of the Otters are so 
far singular in their kind, as to remain indelibly impressed 
on the memory, by a single inspection. Their palmated 
feet, and compressed tail, have been adverted to in the text. 
They have a small gland near the anus, which secretes a 
fetid liquor. Their fur is of two sorts, the one short and 
thick ; the other, long, shining, and close. Their natural 
regimen is piscivorous, but they Mall also eat small quadru- 
peds, and gnaw the bark of trees, and, in a state of domesti- 
cation, in particular, may be kept on bread and milk, and 

The Common Otter, (Mustela Lutra) is a very destructive 
and ferocious water animal ; it destroys its prey by biting 
off the head, and leaving the remainder; thus killing many 
more than are necessary for its sustenance. 

Rapine and spoil 

Haunt e'en the lowest deeps: seas have their sharks ; 
Rivers and ponds enclose the rav'nous pike ; 
He, in his turn, becomes a prey — on him 
Th' amphibious otter feasts .... 

nor spears 

That bristle on his back, defend the perch 
From his wide greedy jaws ; nor burnish' d mail 
The yellow carp ; nor all his arts can save 
Th' insinuating eel, that hides his head 
Beneath the slimy mud ; nor yet escapes 
The crimson-spotted trout, the river's pride. 
And beauty of the stream. 


It is found ill all parts of Europe, and in the north of 
Asia, but the limits of its" location are not defined. It ave- 
rages about two feet in the length of its body, and the tail 
is about sixteen inches. It is very fierce ; and, when 
hunted, will often turn on the dogs, and bite them severely. 
Notwithstanding the natural ferocity of its character, which, 
however, is principally directed against fish, there are many 
instances of its having been tamed, and rendered of consi- 
derable service in fishing. Buffon, in his original edition, 
expressed his doubts of this, though, in the supplement, he 
retracted them. 

It is not properly amphibious, or capable of living either 
on land or in the water. It is true that it is an excellent 
diver, and can remain a considerable time under water ; 
but it has been known to have been drowned when en- 
tangled among weeds in the pursuit of fish, an instance of 
which the editor lately witnessed, in one that got into an 
eel-trap, and could not return. 

As it cannot live long without respiring, the shore is its 
natural residence ; but as it pursues its prey in the water, 
we find its organization adapted for its double destination. 
Its short limbs, flattened head, and compressed body, are 
well adapted for swimming. On shore, nevertheless, it 
moves with facility, and may be said, indeed, to run rapidly. 
It prepares its retreat either under a rock or the root of a 
tree, where it generally passes the day, on a bed of dry 
grass. At night, it sallies forth in pursuit of its prey. We 
are ignorant of all the circumstances of its reproduction, 
as well as of the first state and appearance of the young. It 
is towards the beginning of April that young Otters are first 
seen. The mother does not appear to bestow her maternal 
cares upon them for any great length of time, for, in 
May, they are observed to take the water in pursuit of 
food. At about two years of age they are adult. 

M.F. Cuvier has had several Otters, which were very 


familiar, and were kept on bread and milk. I am not, there- 
fore surprised, says he, that they were so far trained, asGes- 
ner relates, as to catch and bring fish to their master. They 
are animals not wanting in intelligence, and which have 
scarcely any other instincts than those of choosing a fit re- 
treat, and furnishing it with dry grass. Instinct is ever 
less predominant, in proportion as intelligence is more so. 
Their flesh is not palatable, but their fur is much esteemed. 

The nails of the Otter are very short, and grooved ; 
the fingers have, underneath, toward their extremity, a 
round tubercle ; a large tubercle, in four lobes, is found in 
the middle of the palm, and there is a third at the base of 
the carpus. To the hind feet there are only the simple 
rounded tubercle of the toe, and that of the middle of the 
palm, which is divided into three lobes. The eye is fur- 
nished with a third lid, which appears entirely to cover the 
cornea. The ear has, on its lower part, a lobe, which may 
be considered analogous to the tragus, and a slight swelling 
on the opposite side, answering to the antitragus. In the 
upper part of the cavity of the conque, another slight protu- 
berance, which may be considered to correspond with a 
branch of the helix or anthelix, although these branches do 
not, in fact, exist. The nostrils are surrounded with thick 
glands, and open in the lower part of the angular furrow, 
which forms their orifice. The upper lips have long, stiff 
mustachios. It is uniformly brown above, and whitish un- 

A variety of the Common Otter is found in the neighbour- 
hood of Paris, covered with a number of small round spots, 
irregularly placed. 

The Brazilian, or American Otter, (Lutra Brasiliensis) 
is brown, or yellowish, with a throat generally white, but 
sometimes yellow. It is something larger than our Otter, 
and is found in the rivers both of North and South America. 

This Otter appears to be gregarious, inhabiting the 

W [[< 


rivers in small troops. Occasionally, but not always, it 
swims with the head above the water ; and by its manners, 
as well as the noise it makes, seems to be menacing : but 
it is never known to do harm, even to bathers, in the 
water inhabited by it. It either digs or takes possession 
of a hole in the banks. Several females inhabit a single 
burrow, and bring forth their young together. 

Azara mentions one which was domesticated. It ate fish, 
meat, bread, cassavas, and other things, though it preferred 
fish to all other food. It went about the streets, and re- 
turned of itself to the house, knew its owner's family, and 
followed them like a dog, though it soon became fatigued 
by exercise. It knew and answered to its name, and sported 
with the dogs and cats of the house ; but as it bit severely 
in playing, no one was often willing to sport with it. It 
was never known to attack the poultry, or any other ani- 
mal, except a very young pig, which it would have killed, 
had it not been rescued. 

The American, or Brazilian Otter, is occasionally met 
with at a considerable distance from water, when it is sup- 
posed to be in pursuit of a new domicile. On land, it 
moves very slowly, and almost on the belly ; runs or gallops 
very clumsily, and may be easily caught, and held by the 
skin of the back, in which situation it is not able to offer 
much resistance. The tail, though very flexible, is gene- 
rally carried straight. It measures about five feet, from 
nose to tail. 

The Otter of Canada appears to be distinct from that of 
Brazil. The latter is much longer, though it does not ex- 
ceed the girth of the former. The neck of this species is 
also shorter ; and the tail is compressed from near the base 
to the end, while that of the Brazilian animal is compressed 
only near the tip. 

Dr. Horsfield treats the Otter of Java as distinct from 
the common species, under the name of L. Leptonyx. The 


head, he says, is narrower and more lengthened, and the 
ears have, comparatively, a posterior situation. The neck 
is considerably shorter, and the tail is shorter in proportion 
to the body, and more acutely terminated. The anterior ex- 
tremities are longer, and the entire habit is more slender 
and extended ; the claws, also, are weaker and shorter 
than in the common Otter. 

The Sea Otter (Mustela Lutris) is full twice the size of 
the Common Otter: the body is very long, and the tail 
about one-third the length of the body. Its skin, shining 
like velvet, is the most esteemed of all furs, and, conse- 
quently, the most expensive. It is black, with a shade of 
brown ; but, about the head, there are, in general, more or 
less of white hairs. The hinder legs, in particular, are 
very short, and placed nearer the anus than in quadrupeds 
in general, which assimilates it to the Seal, to which it 
bears a considerable general affinity ; it sometimes weighs 
as much as seventy or even eighty pounds. It is found, 
perhaps exclusively, in the northern parts of the Pacific 
Ocean, where the Asiatic and American continents nearly 
approach each other, and in the intervening islands. It is 
said, that a single skin is sometimes sold, in the Chinese 
or Japanese markets, for upwards of twenty pounds 

During winter, the Sea Otter confines itself to the ice 
near the sea-shore, or to the shore itself; in summer, it as- 
cends the rivers, as far as the fresh-water lakes, in company 
with its single female. The latter is gravid eight or 
nine months, and brings, generally, but one young at a 

They are said to feed on fuci, as well as fish and crusta- 
ceous animals, but the teeth do not appear to indicate it. 

Individuals seem to differ, in having more or less white 
about them ; and a white-headed variety is known, of which 
we are enabled to present a figure. 



on&tm r,, /.,, .:;,,■., fy ■ '■. . h ziaaker March 7.782J. 



The head, throat, chest, and fore paws of this are white, 
but sprinkled, as it were, with individual brown hairs. 

We now proceed to the Baron's subdivision of Carnivora, 
with two tuberculous teeth on each side, at the back of 
the upper jaw. 

The first subgenus of this division is that of the Dogs 

It is not without considerable hesitation that we venture 
to append any observations on the canine race. Had we 
temerity to go to the task with the view of even self satis- 
faction in the execution of it, at least a volume in the stead 
of a few pages must be devoted to the subject. 

Without disturbing the integrity of the entire species, 
its countless varieties all well deserve an accurate physical 
demonstration. Without pretending to attribute to the 
mere brute, even in specie, the powers of mind which dis- 
tinguish mankind, the intellectual sagacity of the race, 
with its endless modifications, challenge a strict investiga- 

Almost every nation of the earth, intertropical, tempe- 
rate, and polar, possesses its own peculiar variety of the 
Dog ; the theatre of observation, therefore, is the world 
itself, and anything like a description of the whole race 
would require a much more intimate knowledge of the sur- 
face of the earth than is at present obtained. 

The intelligence and moral qualities of the Dog, which 
it possesses in common with the rest of the class, though 
much greater in degree, form a subject perfectly impene- 
trable by our limited faculties ; we contemplate the effect 
but can by no means arrive at the cause ; we may speculate 
and conjecture, but can never demonstrate. 

It would, indeed, be no difficult task to collect a great 
number of anecdotes of the Dog, highly amusing in them- 


selves, and not altogether devoid of instruction. It is in 
these that the real character of the animal is evinced, but 
our limits rather oblige us to presume that the reader is 
acquainted with many of them, and to devote the little 
space we have in attempting to illustrate the present state 
of zoological knowledge in regard to the race, which may 
not perhaps be quite so familiar to the English reader. 

There is indeed ample room for a separate and extensive 
work on the Caninae, replete too with original and instruc- 
tive matter ; for all that has hitherto been done is but partial 
and unsatisfactory, at least when the subject is considered in 
a comprehensive point of view. Almost all the original ob- 
servations we have upon the subject come from France, and 
partake perhaps too much of an exclusive and national 
character. Thus Buffon, in his canine pedigree, would trace 
almost all the varieties to the French Matin, a Dog not 
known out of France, and even there apparently but ill 

Buffon's canine history also abounds with hypotheses, 
which, if false, are so much the more diflicult of eradication, 
in consequence of the fascinating language in which they 
are conveyed. 

M. F. Cuvier, in the present age of zoological improve- 
ment, has done by far the most on the animals in question. 
We propose, therefore, in this part of our undertaking to 
notice briefly most of the more important varieties, arranged 
according to the plan of that eminent zoologist ; and in the 
synoptical table to refer more particularly to all of them he 
has mentioned, and in the graphic department, with the 
exception of two cr three plates, to confine ourselves to 
figures of British Dogs, under their popular appellatives. 
We shall, however, premise a few general observations. 

It is said that the Shepherd's Dog, transported into the 
temperate climates, and among people entirely civilized, 
such as England, France, and Germany, will be divested of 


its savage air, its pricked ears, its rough, long, and thick 
hair, and, from the single influence of climate and food 
alone, will become either a French Matin, an English Mastiff, 
or a Hound. The last, whether Staghound, Foxhound, 
or Beagle, transported into Spain or Barbary, where the 
hair of quadrupeds in general becomes soft and long, will be 
converted into the Land-Spaniel and the Water-Spaniel, and 
these of different sizes. The gray Matin-Hound, trans- 
ported into the north, becomes the great Danish Dog ; and 
this, sent into the south, becomes the Greyhound of different 
sizes. The same, transported into Ireland, the Ukraine, 
Tartary, Epirus, and Albania, becomes the great wild Dog, 
known generally by the name of the Irish Wolf Dog. If 
these premises be corrects, it follows, that these varieties of 
the Dog are not of original creation, but result from cli- 
mate, or other unknown causes, acting on the first species. 

In pursuing this observation in regard to animals which 
appear still more foreign from each other, we find that the 
common Dog breeds together with the Wolf and the Fox; 
and, although zoologists and comparative anatomists have 
ascertained, that there is a certain similarity of physical struc- 
ture in all these animals, whence they have classed them 
in one genus, yet the Wolf, the Fox, and the Dog, are very 
distinct animals when not viewed scientifically. One or two 
species of the Cats and the genus of the Hysenas, are nearly 
as much like Dogs as Cats, or, in other words, are really 
very like both these genera ; and yet an animal is found in 
the Canis Venatica of Burchel, connecting the Dog with 
the Hyaena almost without an interval ; certain species of 
the Cats approach nearly if not completely to the Weasels ; 
certain Weasels again to the Seals and Bears ; and these 
last to the herbivorous and granivorous races. 

With facts like these constantly occurring, and they are 
almost endless in zoology, there is great room for wonder that 
the genera and species have been kept so distinct as we 


actually find them, and as fossil osteology seems to evince 
they have ever been. 

A question connected with the subject before us has often 
been discussed by naturalists, traces of which are to be 
found in the most remote antiquity. It has been conjec- 
tured that the Creator produced only the germs of existing 
beings, and that these have been conformed by surrounding 
influences, so as to produce the result we see before us. 
The development of these germs, it is said, is proportioned 
to the more or less favourable state of these influences, and 
animals of the most simple organization, as the Polypes? 
are in fact nearer the immediate work of the Creator than 
those less imperfect, as Man and the Mammalia. The 
latter are the production of secondary causes, and could not 
have arrived at their present state of perfection and com- 
plication, but by having passed through the intermediate 
conditions between them and the most simple beings. 

Such an hypothesis may at least have one word in its 
favour. Instead of limiting the power of Omnipotence, it 
seems rather to place it in that point of view in which we 
ought to regard it, that is, as simple in its means, immense 
in its views, and infinite in its results. The principal, 
indeed the only rational support of this hypothesis, is to be 
found in the variations we observe, especially in the canine 
race, and very generally in all others, which we can only at- 
tribute to secondary and accidental causes. 

It is not our business to state an hypothesis merely for 
the purpose of refuting it, but as this has been suggested 
to account for the phenomenon under consideration, it may 
not be improper to advert to it. Such a system of creation, 
however, loses much of its probability, when it is consi- 
dered that the tendency to variety seems almost exclusively 
confined to the more perfect animals, or at least is observed 
to prevail less as we descend in the scale of organization. 

The intellectual, moral, or invisible works of the Creator 


in his various creatures must ever be the subject of hypo- 
thesis and conjecture ; and, however convenient in grouping 
the animal kingdom may be the proportions of cranium 
and face, the strictest analysis of the cerebral masses will 
never detect the mental faculties of the animal to which 
they belonged. 

The most eminent writers, poetical and prosaic, have 
exercised their oratory in describing and eulogizing these 
highly useful and interesting animals. The subjugation and 
domestication of them by Man may be called reason's con- 
quest of nature ; and, as our author observes, it is the most 
complete, singular, and useful conquest man has ever made. 
It is true that, in the refined state of society in which we 
live, this is not so apparent ; but a little observation on the 
state of such of our fellow-creatures as are yet beneath us 
in intellectual improvement, will probably satisfy us that 
we owe originally much of our advance to, and progress in 
civilization, to the powers of the Dog. 

In illustration of the services of the Dog in the earliest 
stages of civilization, we cannot refrain from quoting the 
facts and reflections in relation to the genus to be found in 
Mr. Burchell's Travels in Africa: 

" Our pack of Dogs " says he, " consisted of about five- 
and-twenty of various sorts and sizes. This variety, though 
not altogether intentional, as I was obliged to take any 
that could be procured, was of the greatest service on such 
an expedition, as I observed that some gave notice of dan- 
ger in one way, and others in another. Some were more dis- 
posed to watch against men, and others against wild beasts; 
some discovered an enemy by their quickness of hearing, 
others by that of scent : some for speed in pursuing game ; 
some were useful only for their vigilance and barking ; 
and others for their courage in holding ferocious animals at 
bay. So large a pack was not, indeed, maintained without 
adding greatly to our care and trouble, in supplying them 

Vol. II. Y 


with meat and water ; for it was sometimes difficult to pro- 
cure for them enough of the latter ; but their services were 
invaluable, often contributing to our safety, and always to 
our ease, by their constant vigilance ; as we felt a con- 
fidence that no danger could approach us at night without 
being announced by their barking. No circumstances 
could render the value and fidelity of these animals so con- 
spicuous and sensible, as a journey through regions which, 
abounding in wild beasts of almost every class, gave con- 
tinual opportunities of witnessing the strong contrast in 
their habits, between the ferocious beasts of prey which 
fly at the approach of man, and these kind, but too often 
injured, companions of the human race. Many times when 
we have been travelling over plains where those have fled 
the moment we appeared in sight, have I turned my eyes 
towards my Dogs to admire their attachment, and have felt 
a grateful affection towards them for preferring our society 
to the wild liberty of other quadrupeds. Often, in the 
middle of the night, when all my people have been fast 
asleep around the fire, have I stood to contemplate these 
faithful animals lying by their side, and have learnt to 
esteem them for their social inclination to mankind. When 
wandering over pathless deserts, oppressed with vexation 
and distress at the conduct of my own men, I have turned 
to these as my only friends, and felt how much inferior to 
them was Man when actuated only by selfish views. 

" The familiarity which subsists between this animal and 
our own race, is so common to almost every country of the 
globe, that any remark upon it must seem superfluous ; but 
I cannot avoid believing that it is the universality of the 
fact which prevents the greater part of mankind from re- 
flecting duly on the subject. While almost every other 
quadruped fears Man as its most formidable enemy, here 
is one which regards him as his companion, and follows 
him as his friend. We must not mistake the nature of the 


A . GS ffU § WYM1 ? .a, . 2 . GE WTUS 


sp. c.jixrm 

Zc7id0izPuSlisAed 'ay £23 Jt i&l<325- 


case : it is not because we train him to our use, and have 
made choice of him in preference to other animals, but 
because this particular species feels a natural desire to be 
useful to man, and from spontaneous impulse attaches itself 
to him. Were it not so, we should see in various countries 
an equal familiarity with various other quadrupeds ; ac- 
cording to the habits, the taste, or the caprice of different 
nations. But everywhere it is the Dog only takes delight 
in associating with us, in sharing our abode, and is even 
jealous that our attention should be bestowed on him alone : 
it is he who knows us personally, watches for us, and 
warns us of danger. It is impossible for the naturalist, 
when taking a survey of the whole animal creation, not to 
feel a conviction that this friendship between two creatures 
so different from each other, must be the result of the laws 
of nature ; nor can the humane and feeling mind avoid the 
belief that kindness to those animals from which he derives 
continued and essential assistance, is part of his moral duty." 

The upper cheek-teeth of the Dog are six on each side, 
the three first are sharp trenchant, called by our author 
false molars ; the following, a carnivorous tooth, has two 
cutting lobes, beyond which on each side are two flat teeth. 
In the lower jaw there are seven, four false molars, a car- 
nivorous tooth, with the posterior part flat, and two tuber- 
culous teeth behind it. The length of jaws and muzzle 
vary greatly. The tongue is smooth. The ears are ex- 
tremely variable. There are five toes on the fore-feet, and 
four on those behind, furnished with longish nails, obtuse, 
and not retractile, and the mamma? are ventral. The eye- 
pupils are circular in all the species except the Foxes. 

The females are pregnant sixty-three days, and produce 
generally three, four, or five at a time ; but some of the 
more fertile species bring from six to ten ; and instances 
do occur of thirteen whelps at a litter. They are born 
with the eyes closed, which do not open for ten days or a 

Y 2 


fortnight. They live ordinarily fourteen or fifteen years ; 
but frequently suffer much from age and decay in their 
latter days. Their size is indefinite; in the museum at 
Dresden is a perfect specimen only five inches long. 

Notwithstanding the endless varieties of the Dog* and 
the near relationship which numerous instances of the 
mixtures of the breeds evince with the Wolf and Fox, the 
Dog, properly so called, is always distinguishable by its 
tail, which in all cases takes an arched direction, more or 
less perfect in the different varieties ; and it is observed, 
that all Dogs which have any white about them, always 
have the tail tipped with this colour. 

Mr. Pennant cites Galen, Hippocrates, and Pliny, to 
prove that the ancients were fond of the flesh of Dogs 
as food. He states also that the New Zealanders and in- 
habitants of the Society Islands eat them at the present 
day. The Chinese are said also to be fond of this sort of 
food, which is commonly sold in their markets ; and the 
celebrated Captain Cook's recovery from a serious illness 
at sea was much accelerated by the broth and flesh of a 

It would be desirable to arrange the varieties of this spe- 
cies in successive groups, as they diverge from the original 
stock ; and much research has been made for this purpose, 
from which different opinions have resulted as to the ori- 
ginal type in a state of nature, which has been so remark- 
ably excited to variety by domestication or other causes. 
Some have considered the Dog as a domesticated Wolf ; 
others think that it is a Chacal ; and many, observing that 
Wild Dogs are found always to have the ears erect, have, 
from this circumstance principally, concluded, that the 
Shepherd's or Wolf-Dog is the original root. Since, how- 
ever, the shape of the head has so much excited the atten- 
tion of naturalists, it has been found that some Dogs cor- 
respond more in this particular with the Wild Dogs than 


with any domesticated variety ; and the Dingo, or New- 
Holland Dog, a half reclaimed animal, and its like, are 
placed at the head of the list, as being supposed to be 
nearest to the wild and original stock. Thus M. Frederic 
Cuvier has arranged the varieties of the Dog, upon this 
principle, into three groups, each differing materially in 
the shape of the head, and the length of the jaws and 

Without determining which of the known varieties is 
the most ancient, or deciding upon the claim of pureness 
of blood and descent to which each may pretend, we shall 
merely refer to the anatomical principles, which form the 
ground work of this arrangement. 

The first of these, which includes the Greyhounds and 
their consimilars, have the head more or less elongated ; 
the parietal bones insensibly approaching each other ; and 
the condyles of the lower jaw placed in a horizontal line 
with the upper cheek-teeth. 

The next group of Dogs includes much the most intelli- 
gent, interesting, and useful varieties. Their head and 
jaws are shorter than those proper to the first division, but 
they are not so completely truncated as in those of the third. 
To speak anatomically, the parietal bones do not approach 
each other above the temporal fossae, but, on the contrary, 
they widen so as to enlarge the cerebral cavity and the 
forehead. The Spaniels, Hounds, Shepherd's, and Wolf- 
Dogs, and the still more useful Siberian and Esquimaux 
races of this genus, are included under this description. 

The third subdivision of the Dogs has the muzzle more 
or less shortened ; the frontal sinuses considerable ; and 
the condyle of the lower jaw extending above the line of 
the upper cheek-teeth. The construction of the heads of 
these animals renders the capacity of the cranium smaller, 
when compared with the jaws and face, than in the pre- 
ceding divisions. 


The first division includes among others, 

The Dingo, or New Holland Dog, the head and elon- 
gated snout of which half-wild variety are like those of a 
Fox. In its other proportions it agrees with the Shepherd's 
Dog. It is about two feet six inches long, and about two 
feet high. The fur, composed both of silky and woolly 
hairs, is of a deep yellowish brown colour, lighter on the 
lower parts of the body. 

It is very voracious and fierce ; and Mr. Pennant mentions 
one that was brought to this country, which leaped on the 
back of an ass, and would have destroyed it in a short time, 
had not the animal been rescued. It is very active, and 
runs with the tail stretched horizontally, the head elevated, 
and the ears erect. 

The Dhole, or Wild Dog of the East Indies, is made like 
the Dingo, but the hairs of the tail are not bushy. It is of 
a uniform bright red colour, and is found in South Africa, 
and in various parts of the East, where it is named Dhole. 

The South American half-reclaimed variety is about the 
size of a Spaniel. The head has much of the character of 
the last, but the hairs are longer, particularly on the tail. 
The back is brown gray ; the spots on the flanks and legs are 
ochrey ; and the ground colour is gray, lightest on the belly. 

This animal is very much like a Wolf ; and probably the 
same as is noticed by the early voyagers to America, who 
assert that the Indians tamed Wolves. 

The North American Dog of the Indians is also a half- 
tamed breed, which differs materially from the South Ameri- 
can race, though it corresponds, apparently to identity, with 
the Dogs found in the Falkland Islands. It is said, indeed, 
that the Spaniards landed this breed of animals on these 
islands after the Falkland Island dispute with England, in 
order to make any attempt of our countrymen to settle 
there difficult or impossible. 

We present portraits in outline of these half-reclaimed 


1 . The, Ding c ofJ/kw SollanH 
Z .The, Dhole, of India, 
3 . South ^Snerican, 
4. Worth American 

Ionian, Published Iv G3M,it£a,7cer March 13Z/. 


varieties of the Dog, in order to show their similarity in 
the length and shape of the muzzle and head. They are 
from drawings of the respective animals from specimens 
indigenous in Asia, Africa, and North and South America. 
And it is worthy of observation, that, although the endless 
domesticated varieties of this genus differ so materially 
from each other, from the pointed nose of the Greyhound 
to the truncated muzzle of the Bull Dog, the Wild Dog, 
wherever it may be found, has the elongated jaws of the 
Dingo, Dhole, and North and South American semi -barba- 
rous breeds here portrayed, as well as that of the Wolf and 
Fox. These may, therefore, be said to exhibit a sort of 
average representation of the Wild Dog all over the world. 

The following brief sketches are of the most prominent 
domesticated races proper to the division with an elon- 
gated muzzle. 

The Albanian Dog has been noticed by historians, na- 
turalists, and poets, ever since Europe first began to 
be raised into consequence and importance. A super- 
natural origin, and infallible powers, have been attri- 
buted to it. Diana is said to have presented Procris with 
a Dog, which was always sure of its prey ; together with a 
dart, which never missed its aim, and always returned to 
its owner. To the former the canine genealogists of anti- 
quity attributed the origin of the celebrated race of the 
south-east of Europe, particularly Molossus and Sparta. 
The very fine breed of Dogs, now found very plentifully in 
this corner of Europe, particularly in Albania, accords 
with the descriptions existing of its progenitors, indigenous 
in the same countries, and does not seem to have degenerated. 

They are as big as a Mastiff ; their thick fur is very long 
and silky, generally of different shades of brown; their 
tail is long and bushy ; the legs seem more calculated for 
strength than excessive speed, being stouter and shorter 


than those of the Greyhounds ; their head and jaws are 
elongated, and the nose is pointed. 

The French Matin, (Canis Laniarius. h.) The French 
writers seem to consider this variety or breed as the most 
important of the race, and as the progenitor of many others ; 
the reason for which is not very apparent, unless it is, that 
a venial patriotism is apt to decide in favour of our own 
country, when certainty and truth are unattainable. Mr. 
Pennant identifies it with the Irish Greyhound {Canis Grains 
Hibernicus of Ray), and there certainly seems every reason 
to conclude, that the Molossian or Albanian breed, the 
French Matin, and the Irish Greyhound, possibly, also, the 
Danish Dog, and the Greyhound, and its varieties, are ra- 
mifications from each other. 

This variety has the head elongated, and the forehead 
flat ; the ears are partly erect, but pendulous towards 
the tips. It is about three feet long, and two feet high ; 
very muscular, but active. The colour is ordinarily a 
yellowish-fawn, with blackish, oblique, and parallel, but 
indistinct rays. It will attack the Wolf or Wild Boar 
eagerly, but is more commonly used in France as a House 
or Sheep-Dog, 

The Irish Greyhound is much like the last, if not the 
same animal ; but is said to attain a larger size, and is 
sometimes seen four feet in height. It is to this breed 
that the Irish owe the extirpation of Wolves from their 
island, since which time the race has gradually disappeared, 
and is now become extremely rare. 

The Great Danish Dog is presumed, by Buffon, to be 
the Martin transported to a northern latitude. It is com- 
monly white, marked all over with small round black spots ; 
and is generally used as a Stable-Dog, and to accompany 
a carriage. 

The Common Greyhound (Canis Grajus. h.) is familiar 
to every one, and is very remarkable for its elongated jaws 


and compressed head, as well as for its speed, which 
exceeds that of all other Dogs. 

When we compare the Greyhounds with other varieties, 
in reference to the form and proportion of the head, we 
perceive that it terminates the series of those whose fore- 
head is flat, and muzzle elongated. 

This flatness of the forehead is produced by the oblitera- 
tion of the frontal sinuses from those cavities which are 
formed at the base of the nose, and which, being immedi- 
ately connected with the nasal cavities, and covered with 
the same membranes as they are, increase the sense of 
smell. This is ordinarily accompanied with an extraordi- 
nary slenderness and length of the legs, as well as a great 
contraction of the abdomen ; phenomena, which, although 
not explained, are without exception. 

This obliteration of the frontal sinuses, in weakening the 
powers of smell of the Greyhound, contribute, probably, to 
the development of their other senses, by the necessity in- 
duced of exercising them more exclusively. The sight and 
hearing of this variety are excellent, and although they are 
as domestic as any of the race, the conque of their ears is 
but semipendent; notwithstanding which, they have the 
faculty of elevating and moving them with as much facility 
as the unreclaimed races. They are destitute of the fifth 
toe found in the other varieties. 

The Greyhound is but little susceptible of education ; his 
intelligence is limited, and he seems to conceive with slow- 
ness and difficulty, while other varieties do so with facility. 
His sentiments, however, are very strong, and he is, more than 
any other, alive to caresses ; indeed, his emotions, on being 
noticed, are so strong, if we may judge, at least, by the 
violent and irregular movements of the heart, that it seems 
difficult to believe how they can be borne. This want of 
intelligence, joined to high sensibility, however, seem to 
divest the Greyhound of any exclusive affection ; he has no 



personal attachment, but is alike delighted with all who 
notice him. 

The Scotch Greyhound has long, curling, stiffish hair, ge- 
nerally white, inclining to a reddish-brown tinge. It is also 
called the Wiry-haired Greyhound. 

The Russian Greyhound has also long and bushy hair. 
The tail forms a spiral curl. 

The Italian Greyhound. The Turkish Greyhound. These 
are small varieties of this group, which are very timid, 
and seem to suffer much from the cold of this part of 
Europe. The former is either white or sable-coloured. The 
latter has the akin nearly naked. 

These which next follow, are included in the second sub- 
division of the Dogs of Mr. F. Cuvier, before alluded to. 

The Shepherd's Dog. (Canis>Domesticus. L.) This well- 
known animal is covered with long shaggy hair, and has 
little personal beauty to recommend it. The colour is, in 
general, varied black and gray. The ears, unlike those of 
most of the domesticated varieties, are short and erect ; and 
the tail, which is bushy, is sometimes found directed horizon- 
tally, or even pendent, but more generally a little curved. 

The peculiar and eminently-useful services of this variety 
to the shepherd, appear almost to arise from an intuitive dis- 
position in the animal, rather than from laboured training ; 
at least, there is an astonishing aptness exhibited by it in 
acquiring its lesson ; with an apparent interest, patient 
perseverance, and courageous fidelity, accompanied by a 
discriminating sagacity in the performance of its task, 
when acquired, as notorious as it is surprising. 

This breed is confined to the temperate and southern 
parts of Europe ; and in England there are two varieties 
of it : first, the Shepherd's Dog, properly speaking, or that 
which is the usual attendant on the flocks while in their pas- 


lures ; and, secondly, that which may be called the Drover's 
Dog, which is larger than the former, and more usually 
employed to assist in driving Sheep to the London market. 

The Terrier. Two distinct varieties are used for the pur- 
pose of entering the burrows of Foxes, Badgers, fyc, in 
hunting, both of which are thence called Terriers. 

The first is generally black on the back, sides, head, and 
tail; but has the belly, neck, paws, and tip of the tail, a 
bright or reddish-brown, with a spot of the like colour over 
each eye. The hair is short ; the tail is carried slightly 
curved upwards ; the ears are short and erect ; and the 
snout is moderately elongated. Though small, it is a very 
resolute Dog, and a determined enemy of Rats, Rabbits, 
and many other animals, in the pursuit of which it evinces 
an extraordinary and untaught alacrity. Some of them 
will draw a Badger from his hole. 

The other species of the Terrier alluded to, is generally 
of a dirty white colour, except about the eyes and ears, 
which are brown. It stands higher before than behind ; 
has the muzzle more truncated than the other, and beset 
with stiff bristles ; the hair, all over, is rather long and 
curly ; and the ears are partly erect, and partly pendulous. 

This is, perhaps, in general, more powerful than the 
other. It is equally courageous, and quite as well fitted for 
the purposes from which they both take their name. It is 
sometimes called the Scotch Terrier. 

The Wolf, or Pomeranian Dog, {Canis Pomeranus, L.) 
has the hair short on the head, feet, and ears, but long and 
silky on the body and tail. It is white, black, gray, or 
yellowish in colour ; and has almost all the sagacity of the 
Shepherd's Dog, accompanied with much more strength. It is 
also used as a guard for the flocks, particularly in countries 
pestered with the Wolf, which it never fails to attack with 
success, while the former can only frighten that animal. 

The Siberian Dog, (Canis Sibiricus. L.) appears to be 


nearly related to the last, and very like it, except that 
it is covered with long hair, even on the head and paws. 
Mr. Pennant adds, that the other varieties in the inland 
parts of Russia and Siberia, are chiefly from the Shepherd's 
Dog; and there is a high-limbed, taper-bodied kind, the 
Common Dog of the Calmuc and independent Tartars, ex- 
cellent for the chase, and all other uses. 

This breed is trained to the most important services in its 
cheerless native country, which appear to be very ill repaid, 
if the accounts we have of their treatment be correct. 
During the short Siberian summer, they are said to be turned 
adrift, to seek their own sustenance ; and, at the com- 
mencement of winter, they are taken home for a series of 
fatiguing labour. Four of these Dogs are attached, by 
pairs, to a sledge, and before them is placed a leader, on 
the good training of which much of the utility of the set 
seems to depend. These sledges carry but one person, who 
guides them principally by his voice, with the assistance of 
a stick, and of reins fastened to the collars of the Dogs. It 
is said, they will thus draw a sledge between seventy and 
eighty miles in a day ; and when the falling snow hides the 
beaten track from the sight of their master, they will keep 
or regain it by the power of their scent. 

The Esquimaux Dog. This highly useful breed is described 
by Mr. Desmarest, as having the head shaped like that of 
the Wolf-Dog ; the tail spreading and curved ; and the 
ears erect. The hair is of two sorts ; one silky, which is 
thinly scattered ; the other woolly, which is extremely 
thick, very fine, and curly, and may be pulled off in flocks 
from the animal. The colour is black, or reddish-gray, 
with large marks of white. 

The Spaniel. (Canis Extrarius. L.) The Spaniel has 
the hair very long, in parts. It is generally white, with 
large brown, liver-coloured, or black spots, of irregular 
shape and size. The nose is sometimes cleft. The ears 


are very long and pendulous, and covered with long hair. 
This race came originally from Spain, whence its name. 

The Setter. The Setter is sometimes called the English 
Spaniel. It corresponds, in every point, with the true 
Spaniel ; but is trained more immediately for field-sports. 

The Alpine Spaniel. The Alpine, or St. Bernard's variety 
of the Spaniel breed, exceeds all others in size and beauty. 
It generally reaches two feet in height at the shoulders, 
and full six feet from the nose to the end of the tail. There 
is a peculiarity about the corners of the eyes of this 
animal, which is attributed to the snow, and to the high 
windy regions it inhabits. 

Two of these Dogs are sent out to scour the mountain, 
in search of lost or wearied travellers ; one with a warm 
cloak fastened on his back, the other with a basket tied 
round his neck, containing a bottle of cordial. They are 
frequently of the most eminent use in meeting the traveller, 
in these snowy and dangerous regions, in time to lead him 
to the convent. It is said, that, in cases where a man has 
been found by them in an exhausted state, perishing with 
cold and fatigue, they will lie close to him, and afford 
warmth from their own bodies, to assist his resuscitation. 

The Newfoundland Dog. This admired species is also 
highly useful in its native country and climate, where it is 
employed for many purposes of labour, particularly drawing 
wood on sledges to the sea-coast, which they do without a 
driver, and return by themselves for more. Four of them 
are said to draw three hundred weight, on these sledges, a 
considerable distance. 

They are fitted by nature and inclination for the water, 
being semiwebbed between the toes, which greatly facilitates 
their swimming; and many instances are to be found of 
their saving persons from drowning. Their disposition is 
extremely docile, though their powers are great. 

The Smaller Spaniel, King Charles's Dog, (Canis Brevi- 


pilis. L.) is a small variety of the Spaniel, prized as a 
fancy lap-dog in proportion to its diminutiveness. It is 
sometimes found entirely black, and is then called, in 
England, King Charles's Dog, from the liking evinced by 
our second Charles for this variety. 

The Maltese Dog. The Lion Dog, (Canis Leoninus. L.) 
These, also, are small species of the Spaniel. The first is 
supposed to have sprung from the intercourse of the little 
Spaniel with the smaller Water-Dog. It has the hair, all 
over the body, extremely long and silky, and generally pure 
white. The other has long silky hair about the head, neck, 
shoulders, and extremity of the tail ; but on the other parts 
it is short, giving the little animal a leonine appearance. 
It is probably bred between the Little Spaniel and one of the 
naked varieties. 

The Great Water-Spaniel (Canis Aquations , L.), has 
long curly hair, and is, in other respects, much like the 
large Land-Spaniel ; but the head is larger and rounder. 

The small Water-Spaniel is presumed to be the offspring 
of the great Water-Dog and the Little Spaniel. It is very 
much like the former animal ; but the curly hair is more 
silky, and like that of the Land-Spaniel. 

There is also a useful variety of this breed between the 
Water-Spaniel and Shepherd's Dog. 

These animals are used as finders in shooting Water- 
Fowl, which their great fondness for water, and consequent 
aquatic habits, enable them to bring to the sportsman when 
the birds are shot, and have fallen into this element. 

The Hound, {Canis Sagax. L.) The Hounds have the 
muzzle nearly as long as that of the Dogs included in the 
first division, but much larger; their head is large and 
round ; the ears are large, long, and pendulous ; the limbs 
long and strong ; the body is thick and long ; the tail 
elevated ; the hair uniformly short, and the colour is white, 
with large irregular, black, brown, or yellow patches. 


The largest variety of the Hound used for stag-hunting, 
is also sometimes trained to follow the scent of blood, and 
is thence called the Blood-Hound. This variety was for- 
merly much fostered in Great Britain ; and was probably of 
particular use during the existence of the severe forest-laws. 

The King of Saxony kept a breed of Hounds of immense 
size and powers, for Boar-hunting. They were larger and 
taller than our largest Mastiff, and had the transverse dark 
shades on the body which characterize this animal in 
general rather than the Hound. The ground-colour was 
white, and the markings of a reddish or brownish yellow, in 
the different individuals. There is, as before stated, in the 
Museum of Dresden, a Dwarf Dog, which attained two years 
of age. Major Smith observed, that this diminutive animal 
measured only five inches and a half in length, which was 
just the length, from the corner of the eye, to the tip of 
the nose, of a specimen of the Saxon Boar-Hounds he saw. 

The Fox-Hound is a smaller variety of the Stag or Blood 
Hound, used in Fox-hunting. It is extremely persevering 
in the chase. 

The Harrier is a still smaller variety of this species, used 
in Hare-hunting. There are, again, particular breeds of 
the Harrier, as the Beagles and Southern Hounds, which 
rather interest the sportsman than the zoologist. 

The name of Talbot appears to have been applied to the 
several varieties of the Hound. 

The Pointer, (Cards Avicularius, L.) The muzzle of this 
variety is rather shorter and smaller than that of the 
Hounds in general; the head is shorter; and the ears, 
which are smaller, are partly erect and partly pendulous. 
There is a large breed, called the Spanish Pointer, which is 
considered as having greater acuteness of scent than the 
smaller or English Pointer. The Dalmatian Pointer is a 
beautiful spotted kind, which is white, with very small 


black or yellow spots. It is sometimes erroneously called 
the Danish Dog. . 

The Turnspit, (Cards Vertagus. L.) There are two va- 
rieties of the Turnspit ; one with the fore-legs crooked, the 
other with the legs straight. The head is like that of the 
Pointer and Hound, 

The third subdivision of M. Frederic Cuvier includes 
the following varieties. 

The Bull-Dog, (Canis Molossus. L.) The round, thick 
head, turned-up nose, and thick pendulous lips of this- 
formidable Dog, are familiar to all. The nostrils of this 
variety are frequently cleft. 

The want of that degree of discernment which is found 
in so many of the canine varieties, added to the ferocity 
of the Bull-Dog, make it extremely dangerous, when its 
courage and strength are employed to protect the person or 
property of its owner, or for any domestic purpose; since, 
unlike many of the more sagacious, though less powerful 
Dogs, which seem rather more anxious to give the alarm, 
when danger threatens, by their barking, than to proceed 
immediately to action, the Bull-Dog, in general, makes a 
silent but furious attack ; and the persisting powers of its 
teeth and jaws enable it to keep its hold against any but 
the greatest efforts, so that the utmost mischief is likely to 
ensue, as well to the innocent visitor of its domicile, as to 
the felonious intruder. 

The savage barbarity, which, in various shapes, is so apt 
to show itself in the human mind, particularly when un- 
checked by education and refinement, has encouraged the 
breed of this variety of the Dog, in order that gratification 
may be derived from the madness and torture of the Bull 
and other animals, when exposed to the attacks of these 
furious beasts ; and it is observed, that, since the decline of 
such sports, Bull Dogs have diminished in number ; an 


instance whence we may learn how much the efforts of 
mankind operate on the domesticated genera of the animal 

The internal changes which determine the external cha- 
racters of this Dog, consist in a great development of the 
frontal sinuses, a development which elevates the bones of 
the forehead above the nose, and which leads in the same 
direction the cerebral cavity. 

But the most important change, and that, perhaps, which 
causes all the others, although we cannot perceive the con- 
nexion, is the diminution of the brain. The cerebral capa- 
city of the Bull-Dog is sensibly smaller than in any other 
race, and it is, doubtless, to the decrease of the encephalon 
that we must attribute its inferiority to all others in every 
thing relating to intelligence. The Bull-Dog is scarcely 
capable of any education, and is fitted for nothing but 
combat and ferocity. 

A fifth toe is occasionally found more or less developed 
on the hind feet of this race. 

This, like all other races far removed from the primitive 
type, is difficult of reproduction ; the males are seldom 
amorous, and the females frequently miscarry. Their life, 
also, is short, though their development is slow: they 
scarcely acquire maturity under eighteen months, and at 
five or six years show signs of decrepitude. 

There is said to be a variety of the Bull-Dog found in 
Thibet, which is of a black colour. 

The Pug-Dog may almost be called a diminutive variety 
of the Bull-Dog, to which it is nearly assimilated in ap- 
pearance, though its tail is more curled. But this animal 
differs altogether in disposition from the Bull Dog, being 
as timid as the other is courageous. 

The Mastiff, (Canis Anglicus. L.) This powerful breed 
is considered as English ; it is said, however, to be bred 
between the Irish Wolf-Dog and the Bull-Dog. The ground- 
Vot t II. Z 


colour is generally a dirty white, with numerous dark hairs 
all over the body, and transverse stripes of a darker hue. 
It is a very large and powerful dog, and being much more 
capable of training, and not less courageous than the Bull 
Dog, it is much fitter for domestic purposes. It is fre- 
quently known to protect its master's house and property 
by menaces only, even when a stranger is completely within 
its power ; and will not be excited to violence, unless an 
imprudent perseverance should render it necessary for the 
protection of its charge ; and, in such cases even, it has 
been known to pull a man down, and stand over without 
hurting him a considerable time, till its master appeared. 
This breed was assiduously fostered by the Romans, 
while they had possession of this Island ; and many of them 
were exported to Rome, to combat other animals in the 

There is a degree of generosity about this animal, which 
commonly attends true courage ; and, as if conscious of its 
superiority, the Mastiff has been known to chastise with 
great dignity the impertinence of an inferior. An instance 
is recorded of one, which, being frequently molested by a 
Mongrel, and teased by its continual barking, at last took 
it up in its mouth by the back, and, with great composure, 
dropped it over the quay into the river, without doing it 
any further injury. 

Buffon's work, with Daubenton's additions, contains 
figures of the German Dog, or Mopse ; the Iceland Dog ; 
the Little Danish Dog, which is said to be improperly 
named, as there is no similarity of make. or size between 
this and the Great Danish Dog; the Bastard Pug; the 
Artois Dog, which is supposed now to be extinct ; the 
Naked, or Turkish Dog ; and a variety of it with a sort of 

To the foregoing profiles of Wild Dogs from distant parts 
of the earth, resembling each other almost to identity, 



Tit,. 2. 





Tip. +. 

n ; 

F. 1 . Thi Grtykaund . 

F . 3. . The, Alpine. Spaniel 

F. 3 . Thi MastilT. 
F . 4 . The. Bull-l 

TondmBublished by G. B .Whitta.kir.FtW ' 1825 - 


specimens are selected for the opposite plate, which exhibit 
the disparity in the shape of the head and jaws, incident to 
the domesticated varieties, that have induced the modern 
subdivisions of this variable race. 

We must now quit these humble companions and faithful 
friends of Man, and proceed to a review of their rougher 
and more intractable congeners. 

The docile character of the greater part of these ani- 
mals must not induce us to forget that we are now treating 
on genera, decidedly of the true carnivorous type, properly 
to be termed beasts of prey. Those whom we have hitherto 
surveyed, were either, in part, frugivorous, and many of 
them proportionally gentle in their disposition ; or if car- 
nivorous and cruel, yet wanting strength completely to en- 
force the demands of their sanguinary appetite, or to allow 
it any extensive range of annoyance. But the animals now 
before us, have both the power and the will for devasta- 
tion and carnage. They may be termed, without impro- 
priety, the aristrocratic order of the carnivorous tribes, 
and, like similar orders among men, at certain periods of 
history, they maintain their pre-eminence, by remorseless 
rapine, unsated thirst of blood, and inextinguishable fe- 

Let us not, however, run into the popular error, that 
the ferocious disposition of the carnivora is unconquerable. 
It is a common opinion, that these animals, ever thirsting 
for blood, and stimulated into fury by the mere sight of 
their prey, are alike insensible to the voice of kindness 
and the rod of correction, and will resist, by the mere force 
of their native instinct, every means successfully employed 
in the taming of other species. Buffon, with his usual 
eloquence, in speaking of the Tiger, says, " His only in- 
stinct is a perpetual rage, a blind fury, which knows no- 
thing, which distinguishes nothing. His disposition is, 

Z 2 


perhaps, that alone, among all animals, which is utterly 
inflexible. He is to be tamed neither by force, by restraint, 
nor by violence. He is equally irritated by kind and by severe 
treatment, the omnipotence of habit has no influence over 
his iron nature, and he will tear the hand which is daily 
extended to present him sustenance, without compunction 
or discrimination." 

This error arises from a consideration of the habits ac- 
quired by these animals in their native forests, in a state of 
uncontrolled freedom, abandoned to themselves, and thrown 
entirely on their own resources for the support of their exist- 
ence. Exclusively of their sanguinary appetites, and the sen- 
timent of self-preservation, surrounded, as they are, by vic- 
tims or by enemies, their actions must perpetually tend to the 
acquisition of the first, and the removal of the second, and 
must consequently be violent and cruel. Place them in differ- 
ent relations, and under other influences, and the case will be 
widely altered. — Commit them, betimes, to the care of man, 
and they will assume other manners, their destructive im- 
pulses will be weakened, more sociable feelings will be de- 
veloped, and these terrible Carnivora, whose very name 
spreads terror and dismay, will manifest a capacity for the 
kindest affections, and submit with confidence to the voice 
of their benefactors. 

It may be remarked as a curious fact, that the larger 
Carnivora are more easily tamed than the small. The truth 
is, that gifted, on the one hand, with superior strength, 
they are also possessed of superior intelligence on the other. 
They have more of that faculty which approximates to hu- 
man reason, and less of blind instinct, than their weaker 
and more diminutive brethren. Instinct is a fatal enemy to 
education, and those animals, in which its manifestations 
are most frequent and surprising, are precisely those which, 
where it is not exerted, are the most unintelligent and un- 
susceptible of culture. The smallest Carnivora have been 


tamed, but they retain, in their domesticated state, charac- 
ters exclusively peculiar to themselves, and derived, unques- 
tionably, from the peculiarities of their cerebral structure. 

The Wolf, which forms the subject of our present essay, 
is a striking proof of the truth on which we have been just 
insisting, and shows how much the character of Carnivorous 
animals varies, according to the circumstances under which 
it is developed. Submitted by the inscrutable fiat of nature 
to the domination of sanguinary appetites, intelligent to 
discover, and powerful to enforce the means of their grati- 
fication, we behold them in a state of nature, attacking 
every thing which has life, and spreading hatred and con- 
sternation around. But as the animals which are their des- 
tined prey are provided with activity to fly, sagacity to 
elude, and not unfrequently with strengh and courage to re- 
sist, so they, in their turn, must have the power of appre- 
ciating various circumstances, and of accommodating them- 
selves to different situations. They must know when to 
employ force, and when to make use of stratagem ; at what 
periods audacity will best serve their purpose, and when to 
assume the semblance of timidity. Thus, different faculties 
are summoned into play, and as the necessity of love exists 
in all beings endowed with sensibility, and which re-pro- 
duce by sexual union, it is sufficient to place the most fero- 
cious animals where they shall have no appetites to satisfy 
by violence, no enemies to combat or fear, where they shall 
have benefits to receive, and security to enjoy, almost, in 
appearance, to change their very nature, and to produce 
within them the kindliest sentiments of gratitude, of con- 
fidence, and of affection. 

Experience confirms what reasoning would have led us 
to conclude. There is no Carnivorous animal which can- 
not be tamed by proper treatment, and which will not, to a 
certain degree, become affectionate and familiar, to those 
who attend and feed it. But this disposition is evinced in 


very different proportions by different species, and even by 
different individuals. 

The Wolf is one of those ferocious animals in which at- 
tachment may be carried to the greatest extent, and which 
presents us with one of the most singular examples of the 
developement to which the desire of affection may attain-— 
a desire so extraordinary, that it has been known to pre- 
vail, in this animal, over every other necessity of his nature. 
The individual, instanced by M. F. Cuvier, must un- 
doubtedly have been, naturally, of a very excellent dispo- 
sition. Brought up like a young Dog, he became familiar 
with every person whom he was in the habit of seeing. 
He would follow his master every where, seemed to suffer 
much from his absence, was obedient to his voice, evinced, 
invariably, the most entire submission, and differed, in 
fact, in nothing, from the tamest of domestic Dogs. His 
master being obliged to travel, made a present of him to 
the Royal Menagerie, at Paris. Here, shut up in his com- 
partment, the animal remained for many weeks, without 
exhibiting the least gaiety, and almost without eating. He 
gradually, however, recovered ; he attached himself to his 
keepers ; and seemed to have forgotten all his past affec- 
tions, when his master returned, after an absence of eighteen 
months. At the very first word which he pronounced, the 
Wolf, who did not see him in the crowd, instantly recog- 
nised him, and testified his joy by his motions and his 
cries. Being set at liberty, he overwhelmed his old friend 
with caresses, just as the most attached Dog would have 
done after a separation of a few days. Unhappily, his 
master was obliged to quit him a second time, and this ab- 
sence was again, to the poor Wolf, the cause of most pro- 
found regret. But time allayed his grief. Three years 
elapsed, and the Wolf was living very comfortably with 
a young Dog, which had been given to him as a com- 
panion. After this space of time, which would have been 


sufficient to make any Dog, except that of Ulysses, forget 
his master, the gentleman again returned. It was evening, 
all was shut up, and the eyes of the animal could be of no 
use to him ; but the voice of his beloved master was not 
effaced from his memory ; the moment he heard it, he knew 
it ; he answered, by cries, indicative of the most impatient 
desire; and when the obstacle, which separated them, was 
removed, his cries redoubled. The animal rushed for- 
ward, placed his two fore-feet on the shoulders of his friend, 
licked every part of his face, and threatened, with his teeth, 
his very keepers, who approached, and to whom, an instant 
before, he had been testifying the warmest affection. Such 
an enjoyment, as was to be expected, was succeeded by the 
most cruel pain to the poor animal. Separation again 
was necessary, and from that instant the Wolf became 
sad and immoveable ; he refused all sustenance ; pined 
away ; his hairs bristled up, as is usual with all sick ani- 
mals ; at the end of eight days, he was not to be known, 
and there was every reason to apprehend his death. His 
health, however, became re-established, he resumed his 
good condition of body, and brilliant coat; his keepers 
could again approach him, but he would not endure the 
caresses of any other person; and he answered strangers 
by nothing but menaces. 

Such is the recital of a scientific naturalist, himself an 
eye-witness of the facts which he relates, and who, we may 
well believe, as he himself asserts, has exaggerated nothing 
in his account of them. It is the narrative, not of an igno- 
rant exhibitor, or an ambitious traveller, but of a philoso- 
pher, not less distinguished for his patient habits of obser- 
vation and comparison, than for the soundness and calmness 
of his general deductions. We dare not, therefore, refuse 
it a particle of credit, however little it may agree with the 
popular notions concerning the disposition of the Wolf, and 
the reports of travellers concerning it. Bnt this species 


has hitherto been known only in its wild state, surrounded 
with enemies and dangers, among which no feelings could 
be developed, but those of fear, hatred, and distrust. Cer- 
tain it is, that Dogs suffered to run wild in the woods, from 
birth, become just as savage and ferocious as Wolves, and 
yet we cannot suppose that they are so essentially. So true 
it is, that to acquire a complete knowledge of the character 
of a species, of its fundamental intellectual qualities, it 
must be seen under every circumstance adapted for their 
manifestation. On this subject, as on most others, the 
world, we trust, is fast outgrowing the prejudices of its 
childhood. The love of the marvellous and the terrible is 
rapidly losing its hold upon the public mind. Tales of 
wonder are either banished to the nursery, or reserved for 
the purposes of temporary amusement ; and, even to those, 
they often fail to contribute, from their want of veri-simi- 
litude, and the superior attractions of truth. A traveller, 
who should attempt to entertain us now, like Mandeville or 
Raleigh, would meet but an indifferent reception. The 
wide dissemination of knowledge has given birth to better 
taste, and sounder judgment ; and the present era, we 
trust, will be characterized, in history, as the true age of 
reason, philosophy, and science, alike removed from the 
follies of superstition, and the rashness of impiety*. 

To return from this digression : — Extraordinary as those 
feelings, which we have been just describing, may appear 
in this species, we find the germ of them in the attachment 
which the young Wolves exhibit for each other, the tender- 
ness of the She-Wolves for their young, and that affection 

* It is, perhaps, needless to remark, that the above observations apply 
only to England, France, and America, and, with some limitations, to 
Germany. Jn the latter country, though illumination is widely spi'ead, the 
marvellous still predominates in literature, and the mystic, in some branches 
of philosophy. As to the rest of the world, the less we say about it, peiv 
haps, the better. — E. P. 


which universally accompanies physical love. The author 
just cited gives us another instance of this affectionate dis- 
position in one of this species, the degree of which is 
utterly unaccountable. A She-Wolf, in this particular, 
evinced more sensibility than the most attached and faith- 
ful Dog could possibly do. At the least word, expressed 
with kindness, the slightest pat of encouragement, she would 
presp against you, turn in all manner of ways, as if to 
touch you better, and send forth a soft and plaintive cry, ex- 
pressive of the pleasure which she felt ; nay, her emotion 
was so powerful as, solvere vesicarrit etfacere ut copiose uri, 
nam redderet. But it was not merely to her master that 
she testified this extraordinary feeling ; it was produced by 
the caresses of every person who approached her. It would 
appear that it was merely the caresses which produced this 
effect, and that (unlike the last example) there was no dis- 
criminating sentiment of regard. 

These were not the only examples of Wolves completely 
tamed in the Royal Menagerie. In 1800, there was a She- 
Wolf there, which had been caught in a snare, and which, 
though taken when adult, became so thoroughly tame, that 
she lived familiarly among the Dogs, with which she re- 
produced several times. She would bark like them, when- 
ever she perceived a stranger, and she was so completely 
cured of her taste for poultry, that she might be suffered, 
with impunity, to enjoy the utmost freedom. 

lli his wild state, the Wolf exhibits none of the charac- 
teristics we have been detailing. Surrounded by enemies, 
and living always in fear and distrust, he is gloomy and 
brutal. In the gray of the morning, or at the approach of 
evening twilight, during the night in summer, or in the 
most sombre days of winter, he stalks forth in search of 
food, which, in cultivated countries, he rarely finds in 
abundance. It consists for the most part of the dead re- 
mains of d©j»estic animals ; and in thinly-wooded tracts, of 

Vol. II. 2 A 


Frogs, Field-mice, and other of the smaller animals. In 
large forests, where game is more abundant and the neigh- 
bouring population thinner, the Wolf becomes stronger, and 
bolder, and his frame exhibits more energy and elasticity. 
During the winter he retires to the recesses of lofty woods, 
in the neighbourhood of inhabited places ; in the summer 
he keeps the open fields, concealed amid the ears of corn. 
The females are in heat in the month of January. They 
are immediately followed by all the Wolves in the neigh- 
bourhood, who settle their pretensions by the most san" 
guinary combats. The strongest, having driven away the 
rest, attaches himself to the female, and never quits her 
until the young are educated. Gestation continues a little 
more than sixty days, during which period the mother is 
busy in preparing a nest for her young, in some situation 
best adapted for shelter and concealment. She furnishes 
it with moss and with her own hairs, which she easily 
plucks out for the purpose, as it is the moulting season. 
She brings forth from three or four to eight or nine, ac- 
cording to her age, and for the first days she never quits 
them. The He-Wolf supplies her with food, and the 
suckling lasts about two months, but the young Wolves 
begin to eat at a month old. At first the parents only give 
them half-digested meat, which they themselves disgorge ; 
and during this time one of the two always remains to 
guard the family. By degrees they feed them with fresh 
meat, and lastly bring them small living animals. After 
this, they make them join in the chase. About November 
or December, the young ones occasionally remove from 
their parents, and begin to live without them ; but they 
still remain in habits of connexion from six to eight months. 
In fact, it is only sexual necessities that finally divide them 
altogether. Then they form another link, so that the 
Wolves cannot with strict propriety be called solitary ani- 
mals, for though they live not in troops like Dogs, yet they 


live in families. This circumstance, as it presupposes the 
moral qualities necessary for such a situation, is sufficient 
to explain the examples of affection which we have in- 

In the early days of winter, before the sexes couple, 
many of these animals are met pursuing their prey in con- 
cert. It has been remarked, that while one of them follows 
the game step by step, the others follow on the right and 
left waiting the moment when their victim shall make a 
turn aside to take the diagonal line and intercept his 

The size, the proportions, and the physiognomy of the 
Wolf, bear no indistinct resemblance to those of the larger 
Mastiffs. The colour is a grayish fawn, irregularly distri- 
buted, which renders a detailed description of it somewhat 
difficult. It is moreover very rare to meet two Wolves 
exactly similar. It would appear that as they grow old, 
the gray predominates, while the fawn-colour is more ge- 
neral with those of younger age. In general, the head, 
neck, shoulders and back, sides, and crupper, are black 
mingled with fawn. This last colour predominates on the 
thighs, and the extremities, where it is paler. The under 
part of the neck and the breast are of the same tint. The tail 
is the colour of the thighs, and is terminated by some black. 
The internal face of the limbs, and especially of the thighs, 
is of a dirty grayish fawn. The belly, the lower jaw, in- 
ternal face of the ear, and edge of the upper lip, as far as 
the lower part of the jaws, are white. A black longitudinal 
spot is found on the fore-legs on their anterior part above 
the carpus, and the head between the two ears is gray. 

As to the organs of sense, motion, generation, and the 
teeth, the Wolf entirely resembles our common Dogs. 
Should we deem any further detail on this subject necessary, 
we shall give it when we come to the Chacal. 

Of the synonymy of this animal it is unnecessary to speak. 

Vol. If. 2B 


It has been known in Europe in all ages, and should we 
cite the authors who have spoken of the species as existing 
in other countries, we should hazard the committal of grie- 
vous errors. It is certainly to be found in a large portion 
of Asia. We may also believe that it exists in Barbary, 
and Major Smith has seen and examined many specimens 
in North America, as far as the Isthmus of Panama. But 
the limits within which it may be found are by no means 
precisely established. 

We should have been disposed to consider the Black 
Wolf in no other light than that of a black variety, parti- 
cularly as many species of other genera of the large mam- 
malia are found to have black consimilars, had not the 
Baron, in the text, treated it as distinct. It very common ; 
more so than the ordinary species or variety south of the 

Independently, however, of the deep and uniform black 
colour, in which it differs from the common species, there 
is a deviation also in the relative position of the eyes, and 
still more in the character of the fur, at least in the speci- 
men from which our figure was taken, which is now in the 
menagerie of the Tower; the eyes appear to be rather 
nearer the ears than in the common species, and the hair 
seems to be much more erect and plentiful ; indeed, about 
the neck and throat, it is so bushy, as to shorten, consider- 
ably, the apparent length of that part. The tail, also, is 
more villose. In other respects, we observe no difference 
between the two species. 

The above-mentioned individual has a companion in the 
same den, where, at least, they do not indulge in ennui 
from confinement, being almost constantly at play with 
each other. 

As they are full of life and vigour, it would be no safe 
experiment to procure their dimensions, but they appear to 
be little or nothing short of those of the Common Wolf. 


Hearne and Mackenzie speak of the White Wolf, a 
variety, originating not in the supposed morbid excitement 
to ordinary albinism, observed so generally in the various 
species, but rather from the action, whatever be the modus 
operandi of a high latitude. Mr. Warder, also, informs 
us, that the Wolves found in the United States vary consi- 
derably both in dimensions and in colour. In the northern 
states, they are yellowish or reddish-brown, with a black 
dorsal line ; while more to the south, they are found entirely 
black. Great caution, therefore, seems necessary, that 
these mere varieties be not admitted into systematic cata- 
logues as distinct species. 

To the specific characters of the Red Wolf or Agouara — - 
Gouazou of d'Azara, as given in the text, we shall add 
nothing. Azara states that Agouara signifies the Fox, and 
Gouazou merely great, consequently, that the compound 
word implies that the animal is the largest of the Foxes. 

This naturalist possessed one at about three months old, 
which was kept tied up. When any one approached, he 
would growl like the Dog, but in a more confused and 
louder manner. He lapped in drinking, and pressed his 
food under his fore-paws, while he tore it with his teeth ; 
he was particularly fond of rats and small birds, and ate 
also of sugar-canes and oranges. 

The figure is so like that of a Dog, that any one seeing 
it in the fields, without knowing it, would naturally take it 
for that species, for he has no other difference than in his 
mane and large erect ears, with their concavities turned in 
front ; his legs, also, and figure are rather more slim. The 
mane, however, is a strong specific distinction, whence its 
scientific epithet jubatus. 

He inhabits the low swampy lands, is a good swimmer, 
nocturnal in his habits, hunting solitaryly, with much cou- 
rage and agility, almost all other quadrupeds, even the 



This species seems much troubled with intestine worms, 
which has induced some exaggerated and ridiculous notions 
among the vulgar. 

The Mexican Wolf, of a reddish- gray, mixed here and 
there with blackish, appears to be distinct, but it is not 
sufficiently described. 

The Chacal is one of those species of the mammalia most 
widely extended throughout the warmer regions of the an- 
cient world. It is found in Africa, from Barbary to the 
Cape of Good Hope ; in Syria, in Persia, and throughout 
the entire of southern Asia. Intense cold alone seems to 
present a bar to its multiplication. Humid or dry climates, 
sheltered countries, or exposed and arid plains, appear to 
suit its constitution equally well, provided there be suffi- 
cient warmth. It is not less common on the frontiers of 
Sahara, than on the confines of Senegal, in the mountains 
of Abyssinia, than on the shores of the Persian Gulf. It 
would seem that this species had received from nature the 
faculty of modifying and conforming itself to circumstances 
in a more eminent degree than others, that it might per- 
form a more extensive part in its destined occupation. The 
Feline, and some other Carnivora, disdain to touch any 
thing, except living prey, unless, indeed, while suffering 
the extremity of hunger ; but the Chacals will feed on car- 
casses with avidity, and seem to partake, with the Hyaenas 
and Vultures, the supposed office of ridding those countries, 
where life is most abundantly re-produced, of the remains 
of those organized bodies which, otherwise, would poison 
the atmosphere by their spontaneous decomposition. 

All travellers, who have been in those countries where 
the Chacal is found, agree in mentioning the ravages occa- 
sioned by his voracity, and his dreadful nocturnal cries, 
which re-echoed by all the Chacals in the neighbourhood, 
produce the most discordant and lugubrious of all possible 
concerts, utterly depriving all hearers of repose, who have 

I. TlffiK (C1ACAL 

C. -j&UMEWS . <£M"° 


^IWTJnniTE.JF. c?u 


London, fublahed by £.3 . Whittahr. Feb? 1S25 . 



not been long accustomed to it*. They add, that these 
animals live in troops, inhabit burrows, which they them- 

* " The Chacal's shriek bursts on mine ear 
When mirth and music wont to charm." 


As we have quoted this passage, we shall not refuse to embel- 
lish our pages with the entire of the beautiful ode from which it is 
taken. It was written in the East Indies, at a time when the au- 
thor was in momentary expectation of his dissolution, which soon 
followed, from the fatal effects of a " coup de soleil." It is ad- 
dressed to an Indian gold coin : 

" Slave of the dark and dirty mine! 
What vanity has brought thee here ? 
How can I love to see thee shine 
So bright, whom I have bought so dear ! 
The tent-ropes flapping, lone I hear, 
For twilight converse arm in arm ; 
The Chacal's shriek bursts on mine ear, 
When mirth and music wont to charm. 
By Cherical's dark wandering streams, 
Where cane-tufts shadow all the wild ; 
Sweet visions haunt my waking dreams 
Of Teviot loved while yet a child, 
Of castled rocks stupendous pil'd, 
By Esk or Eden's classic wave, 
Where loves of youth and friendships smiled, 
Uncurst by thee, vile yellow slave ! 
Slave of the mine ! thy yellow light, 
Is baleful as the tomb-fire drear ; — 
A gentle vision comes by night, 
My lone deserted heart to cheer ; 
Dim are those eyes with many a tear, 
That once were guiding stars to mine ; 
That fond heart beats with many a fear, — 
I cannot bear to see thee shine ! 
For thee, for thee, vile yellow slave ! 
I left a heart that loved me true, 
I crossed the tedious ocean-wave, 
To roam in climes unkind and new. 



selves excavate ; disinter dead bodies, and, when impelled 
by hunger, may become dangerous even to men. 

The Chacal can be tamed with tolerable facility, but he 
always preserves an extreme timidity, which he manifests 
by concealing himself on hearing the slightest unusual 
sound, or on seeing any person whom he does not know. 
His fear, too, has a character different from that of other 
wild animals. Among the latter, it is nothing but the senti- 
ment of self-preservation, the result of some apparent 
danger, and is as powerful a stimulus to resistance as to 
flight, when the latter has become impossible. The Chacal, 
on the contrary, like a Dog, which fears the chastisement 
of his master, flies when he is approached, but the moment 
you reach him, you may touch him in all manner of ways 
without any attempt, on his part, to resist or injure you. 
This apparent contradiction seems the result of this natu- 
ral instinct, which impels him to distrust every strange 
species, and of his acquired knowledge, which has taught 
him that there is no real danger. This, perhaps, is the 
state which is nearest to the most perfect tameness. There 
are many animals which will not fly the presence of man, 
but which, at the same time, will not suffer themselves to 
be touched. Others will not fly, but will not receive ca- 
resses, except from those whom they are accustomed to 

The bleak wind of the stranger blew 
Chill on this withered heart : — the grave 
Dark and untimely met my view, 
And all for thee, vile yellow slave ! 
And com'st thou now so late to mock 
A banished wand'rer's hopes forlorn, 
Now that his frame the lightning shock 
Of sun-rays tipt with death has borne 
From friends, from home, from country torn, 
To memory's fond regrets the prey. 
Vile slave ! thy yellow dross I scorn, 
Go ! mix thee with thy kindred clay." 


see, and who are in the habit of ministering to their wants. 
But it is rare to see an instance of an animal who will fly, 
and yet suffer itself to be touched with impunity. As soon, 
however, as the Chacal knows the persons who approach 
him, he will fly no longer ; he will even come and yield him- 
self to their caresses. » 

This great facility of being tamed, and proneness to sub- 
mission, remarked in some Chacals, would tend to confirm 
the idea of certain naturalists, who have deemed this spe- 
cies to be the original source of our domestic Dogs. In 
fact, the organization of the Chacals is entirely similar to 
that of the Dogs, and when these last re-enter the savage 
state, they assume, in all respects, the mode of existence of 
the Chacal. They form numerous families, dig burrows for 
themselves, feed on carcasses, and pursue their prey in 
concert. One essential difference, however, exists between 
them. The Chacals exhale an odour so strong and disagree- 
able, as must ever have prevented men from suffering them 
to approach too closely, or from making them the compa- 
nions of their house and table. There is no reason for 
supposing that, in a domestic state, they would have lost 
this offensive peculiarity*. This of itself may be sufficient 
to refute the notion of the Chacal being the original root from 
which our common Dogs have sprung, though some have 
not noticed it, while others have. The fact is, that the 
presence of a single Chacal would be sufficient to poison a 
whole habitation. 

The Chacals have always been compared to the Foxes, but 
they cannot, with any propriety, be said to appertain to a 
class of animals so generally considered nocturnal. They 
are, in fact, (with the exception of smell just mentioned,) 
genuine Dogs. Like these, the pupil of their eyes is round, 
the eye itself is simple, that is, without any accessory organ. 

* It must not be forgotten, however, that all the Mephites or 
Skunks lose, in a great degree, their offensive smell, and the power 
of producing it, when in captivity, as Major Smith assures us. 


The nostrils extend to the end of the muzzle, and open on 
its middle and sides. The ears are pointed, with a tubercle 
on the external edge. The tongue is extremely soft, and 
there are mustachios on the upper lip, above the eyes, and 
on the sides of the cheeks. The feet have four complete 
toes, but the anterior have the rudiment of a fifth toe on 
the internal side, and on the same feet there is a horny 
production behind the articulation of the wrist. The claws 
are short and thick. Six incisors and two canines are in 
each jaw. But it is unnecessary, in this place, to dwell 
longer on such characteristics. The coat is well furnished 
with hair, especially the tail, which resembles that of 
Foxes. In short, the Chacals, as to habit of body, move- 
ments, use of the senses, intelligence, instinct of concealing 
their food, fyc, exactly resemble the Dogs. 

The general colour of this animal is dirty fawn-colour 
above, and whitish underneath. The tail is a mixture of 
fawn-coloured and black hairs. 

The Chacal of Senegal appears to belong to a species es- 
sentially distinct from that of the Chacal properly so called, 
that is, from the animal found in the central regions of 
Asia, and, perhaps, through the entire extent of Africa; 
which lives in troops, and feeds on carcasses. 

The denomination of the Chacal of Senegal may be, in 
some degree, improper, as the true Chacal is also found in 
this country, but still there is no great inconvenience at- 
tending the use of it. We insert the figures of both. 

This branch of the family of the Dogs of the old conti- 
nent is liable to some obscurity, from the general uni- 
formity of its organization. It seems to consist of the 
Common Chacal, the present species, the Adive, the Corsac, 
and Mesomelas. We may presume that the Europeans 
who inhabit Senegal, do not distinguish the common spe- 
cies from the other Chacals, and it may be as well, for the 
purpose of marking its differences, that we should begin by 
a rigorous determination of the characters of this species, 


that we may clearly prove that it appertains to none of 
these. It should be observed, however, that the Mesome- 
las is said to belong to the vulpine sub-division. 

The Corsac and Adive (as the Baron conjectures) appear 
to be the same, if the Adive be the little Indian Dog called, 
in Malabar, Nougi-Hari. In fact, there are many of these 
Dogs in the Cabinet of the French Museum, sent by M. 
Lechenault. And when we compare the description given, 
by Guldenstadt, of the Corsac, to that given by Buffon of 
the Isatis, we shall find that there is no difference. 

The Corsac is not larger than the Common Weasel, and 
the tail, which is very long in proportion to the body, de- 
scends three inches lower than the feet, when it is com- 
pletely pendulous. All the upper parts of the body, and 
also the tail, are of an uniform grayish-fawn, of a very soft 
tint. The limbs are entirely fawn. The end of the tail is 
black, and, about three inches from its root, on the upper 
part, there is a white spot. All the lower parts of the body 
are of a yellowish-white. Individuals have been observed, 
which seem to blend this species with the Chacal of Pondi- 
cherry and the Common Fox without an interval. 

The Common Chacal we have already described. 

The Mesomelas is gray and fawn-coloured. Its size 
about the same as that of the Chacal, being doubly larger 
than the Corsac. The tail descends nearly to the earth. 
The hairs of the back have fawn-coloured, black and white 
rings, but as these are generally very large, the tint result- 
ing from them is not so uniform as that of the upper parts 
of the Chacal. The black and white is irregularly mixed, 
contrasting strongly with each other, and with the brilliant 
fawn-colour of the other parts. The tail is fawn-colour, 
with the extremity black. The colour of the back, which 
is broad towards the point of the animal, and descends over 
the shoulders, grows narrow behind, and is not two inches 
broad over the crupper. The ears of the Mesomelas are 
twice the size of those of the Chacal. 


Having thus characterized these three species, we shali 
be better enabled to perform the same office for the Chacal 
of Senegal. It is not possible to confound it except with 
the Chacal . It is much larger than the Corsac, and wants 
the triangular dorsal patch of the Mesomelas. But we shall 
soon see that it differs essentially from the Chacal. 

Its forms and proportions are more light and elegant 
than those of the last-mentioned animal. It is about fifteen 
inches high to the middle part of the back. Its body from 
tail to occiput is about fourteen inches long. The head, 
from occiput to the tip of the nose, seven inches, and the 
tail is ten inches. Back and sides are covered with a deep 
gray fur, sullied by a few yellowish tints. The gray is not 
uniformly spread, and, occasionally, the white and black, 
with which the hairs are tinged, become visible. The neck is 
grayish-fawn, still more gray upon the head, especially on the 
cheeks and below the ears. The upper part of the muzzle, 
the limbs, hinder part of the ears and tail, are of a pure fawn- 
colour. The rest of the body is whitish. On the back and 
tail the hairs are long, short and smooth elsewhere. 

The gait and motions of this animal are the same as 
those of the Dogs. When afraid, it claps its tail between 
its legs, and shows its teeth. This is not, however, a me- 
nace of anger, for the moment it is re-assured, by a few 
kind words, it will approach and lick one's hand. Its voice 
is soft ; it is a prolonged sound, and not loud barking like 
a Dog, or Common Chacal. The cry, by which it evinces 
desire, is like that of a young Dog, and it always cries at 
hearing other animals do so. It exhales a tolerably strong 
odour, but much less so than that of the Chacal. 

All the other parts of its organization are like those of 
Dogs in general. It is, therefore, unnecessary to say more 
on this subject. 

Travellers have, unquestionably, mentioned this animal, 
and confounded it with the Chacal. This may account for 
what we mentioned in our essay on the last animal, namely, 


that some travellers speak of the disagreeable odour it ex- 
hales, while others affirm the reverse. The affirmation 
refers to the Common Chacal, the negation to this spe- 
cies. M. Fred. Cuvier proposes to call this new Chacal, 
Afithus, the name of a family in Arcadia, an individual of 
which was every year metamorphosed into a Wolf, accord- 
ing to Pliny. 

We shall now, as an appendage to the Chacals, speak of 
some mules, the result of an intercourse between the two 
last-mentioned species. 

The assemblage of individuals, whose copulation is pro- 
lific, constitutes a species, and the exact knowledge of spe- 
cies is the basis of Natural History. As individuals them- 
selves are the work of nature, so likewise are the relations 
in which they stand towards each other. Indeed nature ap- 
pears to attach more importance to those relations, than to 
the individuals which are placed in them. The continuance 
of a species is evidently an object of greater consequence 
with her, than the preservation of each or any of the ani- 
mals which compose it ; and, in truth, the principal cause 
of the formation of the latter seems to be the conservation 
of the former. In some of the living tribes, individuals 
are called into existence obviously for no other purpose. 
The entire of their ephemeral life is comprised in birth, 
reproduction, and death. They propagate their kind, and 
then return to nothing. Nature demands nothing but the 
preservation of the species, and in contributing to that, 
their destiny is completely fulfilled. 

There are few phenomena, therefore, more worthy of the 
attention of the philosopher, than the reproduction of spe- 
cies, and that independently of the mystery of fecundation, 
This truth was felt by the illustrious Buffon, and if he has 
not been invariably consistent in the application of the 
general rule which he himself laid down, it was from the 
want of facts which might lead him to appreciate the 


exceptions presented by the production of mules. Those 
which we are about to notice, are said, by the French na- 
turalists, to be the first ever produced from the intercourse 
of two species entirely wild, but this seems very doubtful, 
as similar instances have occurred here several years ago. 
Mules have often been born from the intercourse of two 
domestic species, such as the Horse and Ass, Sheep and 
Goat, or from that of a domestic and wild species, as 
the Wolf and Dog, Ass and Zebra, fyc. From this it has 
been inferred, that the deviation of instinct, exhibited in 
such unions, was the result of the influence of man over 
these animals. It appears, however, that this is by no 
means a necessary condition to the production of this phe- 
nomenon. A domestic state, or even a long captivity, are 
not requisite for this purpose. In the case before us, the 
animals were very young, and had not been together in the 
same cell more than six months before intercourse ensued. 
It was odd enough too, that these animals were far from 
having lived in a good understanding with each other. 
They never played together. Each retained its own corner, 
and the female being the strongest, often made the other 
feel its superiority. 

These animals we have already described as the Common 
Chacal and the Chacal of Senegal. The latter was the fe- 
male. At the end of sixty-two days after the beginning of 
their intercourse five young ones were born. The mother 
at first evinced some inquietude, but at last received her 
offspring to her maternal cares. This adoption of the 
young by the mother is a fact worthy of attention, under 
the various circumstances in which it may occur. The sen- 
timent from which it springs, and which is instantaneously 
produced in all females the moment of birth, when they 
find themselves in a state of security, seems to be developed 
very imperfectly, and sometimes not at all when they are 
under the influence of captivity and restraint. The feelings 


which arise in such a state seem opposed to those of ma- 
ternal love, to domineer over the animal, and to be the 
cause of the monstrous action we sometimes witness of the 
parent devouring its offspring. The first manifestation^ 
the internal sentiment consists in the care which the mo- 
ther takes to clean the young immediately after birth ; but 
it never exists in its full force until she has permitted them 
to suckle. Previously to that time, she may be mistaken, 
destroy, or abandon them. These are accidents more espe- 
cially liable to occur at the first birth. They are less to be 
feared afterwards, probably because the organization of 
the animal is more developed and perfected, and the crea- 
ture can better resist the influence of those moral and phy- 
sical causes which would otherwise pervert its natural 

These little Mules at their birth were seven inches long 
from muzzle to tail, and the latter two inches and a half. 
The ears and eyes were closed. The conch indeed was free, 
but its tubercles obstructed the entrance of the auditory 
canals. In about ten days, as in young dogs, these organs 
were opened. These young animals were covered with a 
soft and thick coat, woolly on the body, silky on the head 
and paws. It was generally of a fine slate-coloured gray, 
mingled in some parts with a tint of fawn. There was a 
white transverse line on the breast between the two fore- 
legs. This colour, in about forty-nine days, changed to a 
dirty fawn. 

During the suckling three of these mules died. The two 
surviving ones evinced almost from the moment of birth a 
remarkable difference of character. One shewed no symp- 
toms of fear, while the other constantly manifested the most 
lively terror. The first became familiar, and even gave 
tokens of affection, the other remained wild, and it seemed 
very improbable that any attention would succeed in taming 
him. Yet these animals were brought up exactly alike. Such 


examples only shew, that though education may modify, it 
cannot change the natural character ; and that there are 
cases in which the latter will completely resist its in- 

The Foxes are separated by zoologists into a ^distinct 
group among the Caninae, distinguished by the eye-pupil 
of an elongated shape. 

The Common Fox is one of those animals whose habitat 
is most widely extended over the surface of the globe. It is 
found in all the middle and northern regions of the old and 
of the new world. The faculty of rapid multiplication and 
diversified extension, which it possesses in so eminent a 
degree above the other carnivorous tribes, must in a great 
measure be attributed to its instinctive choice of such 
places of concealment as are accessible to none of its ene- 
mies except man. 

The Fox is not a little particular in the choice of his 
quarters. When he purposes to establish himself in a 
neighbourhood, he visits every part of it, fathoms the ex- 
tent of every excavation, and carefully examines every spot 
that promises a convenient place of refuge in the hour of 
danger. As soon as he appropriates an habitation suitable 
to his wants, he instantly commences to scour the country, 
reconnoitres every post around, ascertains the resources 
placed within his power, and the nature and degree of the 
dangers with which he may be threatened. Constantly 
under the guidance of the most extreme and cautious pru- 
dence, and never leaving any thing to the result of chance, 
he lays himself down with tranquillity to taste the pleasures 
of repose. A repose thus guarded and secured is the only 
one that his natural timidity will permit him to enjoy. 
The excessive suspicion of his character renders every new 
object a source of distrust and inquietude. He is uneasy 
until he has discovered what it is, and approaches for the 


purpose of observation with slow and hesitating steps, and 
by indirect and circuitous paths. Accordingly whenever 
he is agitated by a permanent source of fear, he betakes 
himself to flight, and proceeds to seek in some other retreat 
that security which he can no longer enjoy in his present 
abode. He passes the live-long day at the bottom of his 
hiding-place, and sallies forth in search of prey, only during 
the obscurity of twilight and the darkness of night. Guided 
with equal certainty by the sense of smelling as of sight, he 
glides along the trenches of the field to surprise the Par- 
tridge on her nest, or the Hare within her form. Some- 
times he will lie in ambush near the burrows of Rabbits, 
into which he even occasionally penetrates, and sometimes 
with the cry of a Dog, he gives chase to those animals in 
the open plain. When game of this description fails, he 
will subsist on Field-Mice, on Frogs, on Snails, and on 
Grasshoppers. In cultivated and well-inhabited countries, 
the Fox finds new resources. He approaches the habita _ 
tions to collect the refuse of provisions thrown out of 
kitchens, fyc. He penetrates into poultry-yards, where he 
makes terrible devastation ; and in autumn he will enter the 
vineyards, and feed upon the grapes, which fatten him, and 
diminish in some degree the disagreeable odour of his flesh. 
But he does not limit himself to the quantity of food neces- 
sary to appease the hunger of the moment. Instinct leads 
him, where there is abundance of prey, to lay up provision 
for the future. When he invades a poultry-yard, he kills 
all he can, and carries away successively every piece, which 
he conceals in the neighbourhood to retake them at a more 
convenient opportunity. 

This character of extreme prudence in the Fox is a main 
cause of his preservation. It renders him extremely diffi- 
cult to be destroyed or taken. As soon as he has ac- 
quired a little experience, he is not to be deceived by the 
snares which are laid for him, and from the moment in 


which he recognises them, nothing, not even the severest 
pangs of hunger, can induce him to approach them. Le 
Roi, in his letters upon animals, informs us that he has 
known a Fox to remain fifteen days in his subterraneous 
hole, that he might not fall into the snares with which he 
had been environed. 

This timid prudence, however, completely disappears in 
the female Fox when she has young ones to nurse and to 
defend. The maternal instinct which in all species, the 
human not excepted, is probably the strongest of all feel- 
ings, effaces in the instance before us the specific character 
of the animal. There is no sentiment so completely disin- 
terested as this, none in which the sacrifice of self is so 
instantaneous and so complete. The mother will not hesi- 
tate a moment to endure the utmost privation, to brave the 
most appalling danger, nay, to encounter the certainty of 
death for the preservation of her infant offspring. She that 
but a little before was all gentleness, shrinking timidity, 
and fastidious delicacy, who could not bear " the winds of 
heaven to visit her face too roughly," becomes on the sud- 
den bold, fierce, and resolute, unshaken by all that is trying, 
and unrevolted by all that is disgusting. The female Fox 
watches incessantly over her young, provides for all their 
wants with unwearied assiduity, and exhibits an audacity 
very foreign to her general disposition against their most 
formidable adversaries. 

If we might presume to conjecture at the proximate 
cause of this maternal instinct, we should be inclined 
to trace it, like many other powerful sentiments in ani- 
mal nature, to some sensation of physical pleasure, by 
which its exercise is accompanied. Even in man, those 
feelings which assume, for a time, the completest domination 
over his constitution, have sensual pleasure as their 
origin and object, however remote their apparent distance 
from such a source may be, however they may be glossed 


over by high-sounding names, or to whatever degree of 
refinement they may be spun by those mighty casuists, va- 
nity and self-love. All our feelings and ideas, however 
refined and abstracted, are resolvable in their last analysis 
into physical sensation, and the closer their connexion is 
with this primal source, the more impetuous and command- 
ing is their influence. If this be the case with man, it is 
much more strikingly so with the brute creation. 

About the month of February, the Foxes are in heat. 
They are then heard to utter very sharp yelpings, which 
commence like the barking of a Dog, and end in a sound 
resembling the cry of a Peacock. Gestation continues for 
from sixty to sixty-five days. When the female is ready 
for parturition, she prepares a bed for her young with 
leaves and hay. The cubs are generally from five to eight 
in number, and born like Dogs, covered with hair, and 
having the eyes shut. 

As the vicinity of the Fox is productive of nothing but 
inconvenience to Man, and as its intelligence augments its 
resources against danger, the Fox-chase has always afforded 
a subject of occupation and amusement to great landed 
proprietors. Many crowned heads, both in our own and 
foreign countries, have been passionately devoted to this 
sport. Among others, Louis XIII. of France gave to this 
species of hunting the preference over all others, and even 
brought to perfection the employing the Hound instead of 
the Terrier, which last, previously to his time, had been 
constantly used for this purpose. This piece of informa- 
tion we derive from Robert de Salnove, lieutenant of the 
chase to that royal lump of imbecility. 

At about three or four months old, the young Foxes quit 
their burrow. They abandon their parents with all conve- 
nient speed, and at two years of age their growth is com- 

The Fox averages about two feet and a half, or a little 

Vol. II. 2 C 


more, from rump to muzzle. Its medium height is about 
one foot. A fawn colour intermixed with black and white 
constitutes its characteristic hue. The fawn predominates 
on the head, along the spinal column, the flanks, the poste- 
rior part of the limbs, and the sides of the tail. Grayish- 
fawn sprinkled with white prevails on the thighs and shoul- 
ders. The under part of the neck and breast anteriorly, a 
kind of half collar at the bottom of the neck, and a narrow 
spot commencing at the internal angle of the eye, and de- 
scending towards the throat, are black. But it is super- 
fluous to dilate on the colours of so well-known an animal. 

The coat is thick, especially on the tail and back. In 
winter the woolly hairs are more abundant than the silky, 
and at that season the fur is more valuable. In summer 
the silky hairs predominate, and their number is not great. 

The physiognomy of the Common Fox, its slender muz- 
zle, large head, and shortness of limbs, in comparison of 
the body, are well known. With one exception, the orga- 
nization of the Fox and Dog are precisely similar. This 
exception is the eye, which in the Fox resembles that of 
our domestic Cat, and not that of the Dog. The pupil con- 
tracts in a strong light, and appears only a narrow and lon- 
gitudinal section. It opens and assumes a circular form 
only during twilight or night. This animal consequently, 
like the Cat, avoids the light, and prefers obscurity and 

The Fox has been always known. The Greeks named 
it Alopex, and the Latins Vulpes. This last name has 
been most usually given to it by authors since the restora- 
tion of letters. Gesner and Johnston have given very good 
figures of it, and those of Buffon and Schreber are very 
exact. Its scientific name is Canis Vulpes. 

A variety of the Fox has been found, principally in Bur- 
gundy and Alsace, and described as distinct under the name 
of Alopex. Its colour is somewhat of a deeper red, and its 


fur thicker than that of the ordinary Fox, and from this 
last-mentioned peculiarity it derives a thicker and more 
squat appearance. Some are also found which have more 
black hair than common along the dorsal line, and across 
the shoulders, and to those the name of the European Cross 
Fox has been applied. The cross disposition of the black 
stripes is met with in three or four species or varieties of 
the Fox ; but the distinctive epithet is applicable only to 
a South American species, in which this character is pecu- 
liarly remarkable. 

The Egyptian Fox is treated as distinct by Geoffroy , under 
the name of Canis Niloticus. It differs very slightly from 
the common species. 

Of the Tri-coloured Fox {Canis Cinereo-Argenteus,) it may 
be observed that the name might in point of fact be applied 
to the other species, as the white, the fawn-colour, and the 
black are combined in the fur of almost all the Foxes. But 
improper as it may be, it must be retained, as it has been 
so long received, and as we are ignorant of the name which 
this animal bears in the middle and southern regions of 
North America, which are its native countries, [t is asto- 
nishing how little care is taken by travellers to ascertain 
the proper names of the animals of those countries which 
they traverse, even when the means of such information are 
completely within their reach. The influence which such 
information must exercise on the progress of natural his- 
tory would give a double value to their researches. The 
history of any species can evidently be the result only of a 
very long series of observations, which it is'utterly impos- 
sible for any single individual to make. To the first ob- 
servations of this description the second should be natu- 
rally attached, for the purpose of giving them their full 
portion of utility, the third to the second, and so on, until 
all the necessary information is acquired. Without this 
plan, we are liable to endless repetitions, which can pro- 
se 2 


duce nothing but regret for the labour which has been ex- 
pended on them. In fact, the knowledge of the native name 
is essentially necessary to enable us to know of what ani- 
mal any traveller speaks, and of which, in all probability, 
he cites but a few characteristics, very insufficient for the 
purposes of a clear distinction. On this point the ancients 
appear to have been much more careful than the moderns. 
The generality of the latter can bear no comparison in this 
respect with Marcereau, Hernandez, Pison, fyc. Such, 
however, as the Baren Humboldt, Dr. Horsfield, our re« 
spected friend, Major Hamilton Smith, Peron, D'Azzara, 
and a few more, are honourable exceptions to this remark, 
and stand at an immeasurable distance above the generality 
of our modern travellers. 

Such reflections as these are sure to suggest themselves 
to the mind, when we come to consider the Foxes of North 
America. There are few animals of which travellers have 
spoken more, but there are few whose history has been 
treated of with less detail, and with less attention to any 
thing like method. It is difficult to know what use to 
make of the numerous notes upon the Foxes, which we 
find scattered over the works of Hearne, Mackenzie, Bar- 
tram, &c. 

Without doubt they had seen, as many others had seen 
before them, this species, the tri-coloured Fox. But not- 
withstanding, until very lately, the animal has been known 
only from the account of Schreber, who has given a very 
imperfect figure, drawn in all appearance from a stuffed 
specimen, and a bare description of colours. 

M. F. Cuvier describes an individual sent from New 
York to the French menagerie. It was so very young that 
its second dentition had not yet commenced. It died 
during the development of its second canines, which gene- 
rally forms a crisis very painful and dangerous to wild ani- 
mals in a state of captivity. Without evincing malignity, 


it was not familiar. Its graceful form, the facility of its 
motions, and particularly the soft and brilliant colours of 
its fur, would have constituted it a very agreeable animal, 
had it not been for the unpleasant odour which it emitted, 
and which, unquestionably, would have become much 
stronger with advancing years. The head, across the lower 
part of the osfrontis, round the eyes, and thence to the in- 
ternal edge of the ears, was of a reddish-gray. The rest of 
the muzzle was white and black. A little white on the upper 
lip, then a large black spot, and then white under the lower 
jaw. The sides and under part of the neck were of a bril- 
liant fawn. The upper part of the neck, back, shoulders, 
crupper, thigh, and part of the leg, were of a beautiful 

The fur was composed of woolly hairs, in great quan- 
tity, generally of a pale-gray, but with a red tint on the 
extremities, and of silken hairs, short on the muzzle and 
paws, long elsewhere, but scanty in number. Such was 
the distribution of its colours. Its organization was, of 
course, that of Dogs in general, with the exception of the 
elongated pupil which it possessed in common with other 
Foxes. Its length of body, from the muzzle to the root of 
the tail, was about a foot and a half. The tail itself one 
foot, and the mean height about eleven inches. 

Our knowledge of the tri-coloured Fox is, as we have 
observed, due to Schreber. Under his figure, he gives it 
the name of Cards Cinereo-argenteus, and in the text he 
calls it Canis-Griseus. D'Azzara, also, it would appear, 
speaks of this species of the Fox, in his account of the ani- 
mals of Paraguay, under the appellation of Agouarachy. 
We should be cautious, however, in the admission of this 
identity, both as his description differs, in some points, 
from the animal we are treating of, and as the country 
in which this specimen was found, is so remote from the 
habitat of the Fox, which we have been describing. 


M. F. Cuvier, in an article in the " Dictionnaire des Sciences 
Naturelles," admitted this identity, but afterwards, in his 
great work on the Mammalia, he hesitates to do so for the 
reasons just assigned. As for ourselves, we cannot venture 
to dissent from so high an authority, but must fully agree 
with him, that every error of synonymy has a direct ten- 
dency to retard the progress of science. The Agouarachy 
is referred, by M. Geoffroy St. Hilaire, to a gray Fox of 
Paraguay, recently brought to the French Museum. 

The Tri-coloured Fox is easily tamed, if taken young. It is 
disposed to be playful with those whom it knows, and can 
distinguish the family of its keeper from strangers. Should 
a dog enter its master's dwelling, it will instantly expel the 
intruder, but with the dogs of the house it lives on terms 
of great intimacy. It has a great propensity to sleep during 
the day, a sufficient indication of its nocturnal habits in a 
state of nature. It is not easily compelled, notwithstanding 
its tameness, to enter or quit any place, but rather than do 
so, will submit to blows, which it answers by growling. 

The particulars, in this last paragraph, are taken from 
D'Azzara, whose animal, as we have seen, is not completely 
ascertained to be the same with the Cards Cinereo-Argen 
tens. But all the manners and cunning of the European Fox 
are, in general, attributed to this its congener on the other 
side of the Atlantic. This is, probably, the Virginian Fox of 

The Silvery Fox (Canis Argentatus) is a species which 
has been known for a long time, and in high estimation, on 
account of the beauty and richness of its fur, which be- 
comes very valuable when manufactured. Notwithstanding 
this, we have had no figure of the animal until lately, when 
one was published by the Baron's brother, in his Litho- 
graphic work, and another in the " Dictionnaire des 
Sciences Naturelles." Naturalists did not even possess 
very clear notions on the animal, until latterly. Brisson, 


Linnaeus, Erxleben, and Gmelin, have not admitted it as a 
species, and the two last have confounded it with the 
Canis Lycaon. All that Pennant has said upon the sub- 
ject is founded on the relations of Charlevoix and Du- 
Pratz. It is to M. Geoffroy St. Hilaire that we are in- 
debted for an exact description of the Canis Argentatus, 
which was given from a stuffed specimen in the French 
Museum. The animal itself was brought from North 

This animal is of the size of the ordinary Fox, and its 
entire organization is precisely similar to that of the same 
animal. The organs of sense, of motion, of dentition, and 
of generation, are the same, and its gait and movements 
exactly alike. It walks like the Canis Vulpes, with its 
head and tail depressed. Its glances are pregnant with 
distrust and penetration, and, in a word, it would be com- 
pletely our European Fox, if it were fawn-coloured instead 
of black. It is, altogether, of this latter colour, with which 
is mixed, in certain points, and in greater or less propor- 
tions, a small quantity of white. The extremity of the 
tail is almost entirely of this last colour, the fore part of 
the head and the sides are whitish, and some white hairs 
are detached, as it were, from all the other parts of the fur, 
and have no other effect than to set off to better advantage 
the lustrous brilliancy of the black, of which it is generally 
composed. The hair of the body and of the tail is long 
and tufted. Silken hairs, widely dispersed, extremely fine, 
and of a gray, approaching to black, form the immediate 
covering of the skin, and the colour of the animal is owing 
to silken hairs, which are generally of a brilliant black, 
though occasionally terminated by a white point, and some- 
times, but rarely, altogether white. On the paws, the hair 
is short, and on the muzzle still more so. The eyes are 

This animal plays in the manner of Dogs, and expresses, 


like them, its displeasure, by growling. When it has sa- 
tisfied its hunger, it conceals the rest of his aliments, lies 
down, and goes to sleep. Its odour is extremely disagree- 
able, but differs a little from that of the Common Fox. The 
exhaustion which it suffers from heat, sufficiently indicates 
the countries of which it is a native. 

Almost all authors, who have travelled in the northern 
parts of the old world, speak of Black Foxes, which has led 
to an opinion, in which there appears probability, that 
the species which we have been just describing is to be 
found in both continents. Some doubt, however, must be 
preserved respecting their identity, until such time as it 
shall be confirmed by new observations, and a more exact 
comparison of characters. The relations of travellers, 
hitherto, are deficient in the degree of precision necessary 
for such a purpose. 

The Cross Fox (Canis Decussatus) is described by Geoffroy, 
as a South American animal, of the size of the Common 
Fox. The fur is variegated with black and white, which 
gives a gray appearance to the upper part of the body, and 
it has a black transversal stripe over the shoulders : the 
muzzle, lower part of the body, and paws, are black : the 
flanks and parts about the anus have a yellow tinge : the 
extremity of the tail is grayish-white. 

This animal, in all probability, is a mere variety of the 
Canis Argentatus of Geoffroy. 

The Arctic Fox {Canis Lagopus) exhibits, in a remark- 
able degree, the mutation of colour which Polar animals 
generally undergo on the change of seasons. 

It is an inhabitant of the mountainous and open coun- 
tries of the Arctic region, where it burrows underground, 
during the short time that the earth is soft enough for this 

There was one brought from Spitzbergen by Captain 
Ross, when on his voyage of discovery. The animal looks 


very rough and ragged during the process of changing its 
colour, and until near its conclusion. When the change is 
completed the colour is uniform. In winter it is of a pure 
white. In summer a dorsal line of a darker colour is ob- 
servable, with transverse stripes upon the shoulders, from 
which peculiarities it has been occasionally confounded 
with the Cross-Fox. The paws are entirely covered with 
long hairs, and those on the other parts of the body are 
about two inches in length. 

It is with some hesitation, however, that we place Cap- 
tain Ross's Fox under the Lagopus. In general make and 
appearance it approaches more to the Common than to the 
Arctic species ; but in colours and their change, it assi- 
milates to the latter. 

There is also a Variable Fox, an inhabitant of the Arctic 
regions, which has the tips of the ears and tail black, like 
those of the Variable Hare. 

The Cape Fox (Cards Mesomelas) is distinguished from 
the others by a more pointed muzzle, a long bushy tail, 
and elliptical pupils. It is usually been called the Cape 
Chacal, but the characters we have instanced constitute it a 
Fox, on the authority of our author. M. Desmarest, how- 
ever, places it amongst the Caninas with circular pupils. It 
is about the size of a small Dog. These animals are found 
at the Cape of Good Hope, and are represented to have the 
manners and habits of the Chacal. 

We shall simply refer to the table for several other Foxes 
that have been named by writers, without attempting, for 
want of data, to determine their respective claims to a dis- 
tinct classification. Much difficulty indeed exists on this 
subject, from the changes which many of these animals un- 
dergo in colour at different seasons. 

Major Smith's drawings include a great many indivi- 
duals, particularly of the transatlantic species, some of 
which, from their dissimilarity to described species, may 
probably be entitled to a specific separation. 


In the Museum at Paris there is a nondescript animal, 
which seems to differ from the Fennec principally in di- 
mensions. It is about the size of the Common Fox. The 
ears are preposterously large and long. The fur is an iron- 
gray, slightly tinted with yellow ; along the dorsal line the 
hair is rather longer than elsewhere, and darker in colour. 
The ears are gray on the outside, with the edge black, bor- 
dered with a few white hairs. The tail is very villose, 
black, with some gray at the upper end. The head is gray, 
with the forehead to the extremity of the nose blackish. 
The belly is pale white ; the four paws black. 

It was shot by M. Delalande at the Cape, and as to all 
its generic characters is decidedly a Dog, most probably of 
the Vulpine section. The Baron has named it Canis Mega- 
lotis. Major Smith added Lalandi, to distinguish it from 
the Megalotis or Fennec of Bruce. 

This species seems to form a natural gradation in the 
transition from the Common Foxes to tbe Fennec, which 
appears likely to terminate the genus ; so far at least as 
size and relative proportions may be connected with the 
commencement or termination of any series of animals. 

In the Museum at Frankfort is a specimen of the Fennec, 
C. Megalotis, which we are enabled, by Major Smith's kind- 
ness, to engrave from his drawing. It was sent from the 
interior of Nubia by the German naturalists at present in 
that country. Professor Graetzmer and M. Temminck,' 
after mature examination, believe this not to be the same 
as Bruce's Fennec, but a congener. The Major inclines to 
a contrary opinion. The skull has not been taken out, and 
the teeth remain to be examined. 

Authors are too justly stigmatized as a jealous race, 
an observation often verified among zoological writers in 
particular, in the extreme eagerness evinced in describing 
and naming new or pretended new species, and the arts 
employed in procuring the means to do so, an abundant 
source of repetition, inaccuracy, and confusion in zoological 

4' ;■.:'■.:' " 





catalogues. Our countryman Bruce, and a Swedish gentle- 
man, Mr. Shioldebrand, each claim the honour of introduc- 
ing the Fennec to the scientific world. The latter, as Bruce 
asserts by the exercise of a petty and unworthy artifice, 
certainly got the start of the former. Neither of their 
descriptions, however, has been sufficient to determine 
the generic character of the animal, and it has accordingly 
been appropriated in turn to almost every genus of Mam- 

Buffon gave a figure of it in his work, from a drawing 
sent him by Bruce. He seems to place it between the 
Squirrel and the Hare. 

Bruce, subsequently, in his travels, describes it ; and M. 
Blumenbach, from his description, refers it to the Civets. 

Sparman identified it with a South African animal, called 
at the Cape, Zerda, a name adopted in consequence by 
Gmelin, Pennant, Boddaert, and others. The real Zerda 
seems likely to be a Fox. 

Mr. Pennant, without attempting to determine its generic 
appropriation, intimates his opinion that it is a Vulpine 

Illiger describes the teeth, but does not state his authority, 
or where he inspected his type. He makes a new genus of 
the animal under the name Megalotis, and places it by the 
side of the Hyaenas. 

M. Geoffroy St. Hilaire, notwithstanding Bruce's de- 
scription, which he assumes to be incorrect, and with all 
that ingenuity and research of which he is so capable, with- 
draws the Fennec from among the carnivorous animals, and 
makes it a Galago, to which we have alluded in our observa- 
tions on the animals proper to that subdivision. 

M. Desmarest, on the contrary, gives Bruce credit for 
the accuracy of his description, and opposes the deductions 
of M. Geoffroy. It does not appear whether the former 
naturalist had the opportunity of inspecting a specimen, 


before he wrote his observations in the Encyclopedie Melho- 
dique, but as he there renounces his assertions made in the 
Nouveau Dictionnaire d'Hist. Nat., that the nails were re- 
tractile, which assertions were merely hypothetical, grounded 
on the facility evinced by the animal in ascending the Palm- 
tree, it seems probable that he had. 

The authority of M. Geoffroy is of such weight, that it 
may be proper to allude to the points of difference between 
this animal and the Galago, in all of which it approaches 
the Caninae. The Galagos, then, have the hind extremities 
much longer than those before. The Fennec and the Dogs 
have not. The Galagos have four fingers and a thumb like 
that of Monkeys, perfectly opposable to the fingers. The 
Fennec and the Dogs are tetradactylous, with the mere rudi- 
ment of a thumb on the fore feet. The Fennec and the 
Dogs, as well as the Felinae, have a slit or fold on the lower 
part of the external edge of the ear, which the Galogos have 
not. The extraordinary development of the external ear in 
the Fennec is analogous in kind, but not in degree to what 
is met with among the Dogs, particularly some newly dis- 
covered species or varieties of the Vulpine division ; whereas, 
in the Galogos, the ears never exceed the length of the 
head. The strong whiskers found on the upper lip of the 
Fennec and the Dogs are not observable in the Galagos, 
and lastly, the tail is shorter and more villose or foxy in 
the Fennec than in the Galagos. 

We have already said that this singular animal seems to 
terminate the canine series. It is true that some of its 
most important generic characters are still in doubt : for 
instance, it has six incisors and two canines in each jaw, 
and six cheek teeth in the upper jaw, but the number of 
those in the lower jaw, and the character of them in both, 
have not been described. The character of its tongue, 
whether rough or smooth, and the certain presence or 
absence of anal folliculi remain also to be stated. Subject 


m fcj 
B 2 

N 5 

# i 


to the accordance of these characters with those of the 
Caninae, there seems no good reason for separating this 
animal from that genus : diminutiveness certainly affords 
none, and we have already mentioned a Domestic Dog not 
exceeding five inches in length. 

The Baron confining his most useful exertions to actual 
observation as an operative naturalist, treats on nothing 
that has not fallen under his notice in a state of nature, for 
which reason we are as yet deprived of his observations on 
this curious little animal. 

The stuffed specimen whence the figure was taken is so 
small that it might be concealed conveniently in a pint mug. 

After the Caninae, or at least as a distinct section of the 
race, and before the Hyenas, must be placed a newly-dis- 
covered or described animal, partaking in several points 
of both these genera, and consequently intermediate be- 
tween them ; the number and character of its teeth corre- 
sponding with those of Dogs, would place it in that sub- 
genus of the "Animal Kingdom," in which, as may be ob- 
served, dentition is selected as the most influential dis- 
tinctive character. 

This, and such like intermediate animals, appear to claim 
the particular attention of the zoologist, as affording curious 
matters of fact, from which results remain to be deduced — - 
they form the connecting links, which, as it were, chain 
organization together: they seem to multiply the extent 
and enlarge the influence of secondary causes in the great 
work of creation, and stand decidedly opposed to a host of 
other facts which display the impassable barriers interposed 
by nature between the several creatures and their respective 

The colonists at the Cape, as well as the aboriginal inha. 
bitants there, appear to have been long acquainted with 
this animal, under the name of the Wild Dog, but its pe- 
culiarities remained unobserved, until Mr. Burchel pointed 


them out. He brought with him, from South America, a 
specimen, from which, as we believe, M. Temminck pub- 
lished a curious and interesting memoir, in the Annates 
Generate des Sciences Physiques, treating it as a Hyaena, 
under the name of the painted Hyaena, (Hyene peinte.) He 
afterwards presented a scull to the French Museum, and 
M. Desmarest, adverting to its dentition alone for its gene- 
ric character, has placed it in his catalogue among the genus 

The Baron afterwards notices it in the second edition of 
his Ossemens Fossiles, under the synonymes of Painted 
Hyaena, Wild Dog, and Hyaena Dog, which last appellative 
seems most descriptive, and is analogous to the Hyaena 
Civet, a species also holding a corresponding station between 
those genera. 

Since these notices, Mr. Burchel, in the second volume 
of his Travels, has more particularly described it under the 
name of Hysena Venatica, which we submit, at least in the 
Cuvierian arrangement, should be rather abandoned for 
that of the Hyaena Dbg. 

It is smaller, says Mr. Burchel, and of a more slender 
make than either the Common Striped Hyaena, or the Spot- 
ted or Crocuta. The general, or ground colour, is a sandy 
bay or an ochreous yellow, shaded with a darker hair. The 
whole body is blotched and brindled with black, intermin- 
gled in various parts with spots of white ; and the legs are 
generally marked in the same manner. All these spots and 
markings are exceedingly irregular, and in some degree 
vary in different individuals. 

We refer to the figure more particularly for the external 
character and description. 

The osteology of this animal throws the principal diffi- 
culty in the way of its classification. In the teeth it agrees 
with Canis, except that the little lobe in front of the false 
molars is rather more developed. In the ribs and lumbar 
vertebrae it also agrees with Canis, but it differs from that 



genus in approaching Hysena, in having but four toes on 
each foot, and it is said in other essential particulars. — 
Mos eorum copulandi mos canum non est, u. d. If this 
be so, the absolute separation of the species seems abso- 
lutely necessary. 

Mr. Burchel had a living subject in his possession, for 
thirteen months, chained up in a stable yard. During this 
time its ferocious nature deterred every body from all at- 
tempts at taming it ; but it became at length so much 
softened in manner, as to play with a common dog, also 
chained up in the yard, without manifesting any desire of 
hurting its companion, but the man who fed it dared never 
to venture his hand upon it. 

They hunt in regular packs, whence Mr. Burchel's spe- 
cific epithet : though in general a nocturnal animal, it fre- 
quently pursues its prey by day ; and as it is well formed 
by nature for speed, none but the fleeter animals can escape. 
Sheep and oxen are therefore more particularly subject to its 
attack, the first openly, but the latter only by stealth, sur- 
prising them in their sleep and suddenly biting off their tail, 
which the large opening and great powers of its jaws 
enables it to do with ease. The large cattle, it appears, are 
assaulted by them in no other way, but the loss of their tail 
is a great inconvenience to cows and oxen, in a country 
where the warmth of the climate subjects them to great 
annoyance from flies. 

We now come to that subdivision of the Carnassiers which 
is called the Viverr^e, whose generic character is detailed 
by our author, in the text. The first species is the Civet 
itself. Authors have so imperfectly marked the distinctive 
characters between this animal and the Zibeth, that Buffon 
was inclined to suspect that there was no essential differ- 
ence between them, but that they were at the most mere 
varieties of the same species : in fact, the figures and de- 


scriptions which had been given of them appeared to repre- 
sent animals altogether similar ; and in some systematic cata- 
logues, where they had been distinguished from each other, 
it was by characters which had no foundation in truth. The 
differences, however, between these two animals have now 
ceased to be a subject of doubt or controversy ; they have 
both been possessed, alive, by the French menagerie, and 
their external appearance alone is quite sufficient to pre- 
vent any possible chance of their ever being confounded to- 
gether in future. 

They are animals which, certainly, in physiognomy and 
form, exhibit many mutual relations. In the principal points 
of organization they entirely resemble — they have the same 
teeth, the same organs of sense, motion, and generation. 
Respecting these, under the article of the Genet, we shall 
add as much to our author's description as may be necessary. 
Here we propose to institute a comparison between the Civet 
and the Zibeth, which will form the subject of our next 
description. This last animal has the body pretty generally 
covered with black spots, which are round and small, upon 
a gray ground, occasionally tinted with brown, The Civet 
has transversal bands, upon a gray ground, narrow, and 
parallel with each other on the shoulders, larger on the 
body and the thighs, and which are sometimes so much 
approximated and curved as to form eye-like spots, like 
those of the Panther ; eight or ten rings, of a blackish 
brown, cover the tail of the Zibeth, while on that of the 
Civet there are but four or five, and its extremity, for about 
six inches, is entirely black, while the tail of the Zibeth is 
of the same colour only for about two inches at the tip ; this 
last has on the sides of the neck four black bands on a white 
ground : the Civet has also a white with black bands, but 
only three in number, and there are some trivial differences 
in the position of the bands in each of these animals. 
The Zibeth has a white spot under the eye, and the muzzle 

§ ? 


Ki h 




is gray ; this part of the head in the Civet is entirely black, ex- 
cept the upper lip, which is white, and there is no spot under 
the eye ; the limbs are black in both animals, and, in general, 
there is a greater quantity of brown in the Zibeth, than in 
the Civet, whose clear tints are of a pure white. The dor- 
sal mane of the Civet is stronger than that of the Zibeth, 
and its coat is in general rougher, from the stiffness of the 
silky hairs; the woolly hairs are of a grayish brown, and 
considerable in number : the fore part of the ears is of a 
grayish white, and the hind part black ; the under part of 
the belly is white, but the hairs are brown at their base, 
and sometimes black : such are the differences of colour be- 
tween these two animals. We shall now cite the observa- 
tions of the Baron upon the Civet, from a work entitled 
" Menagerie du Museum d'Histoire Naturelle." 

" The most remarkable peculiarity in the anatomy of the 
Civet, is the organization of the bag, containing its pecu- 
liar scent. It opens externally by a narrow cleft, situated 
between the anus and the parts of generation, and is ex- 
actly similar in both sexes, which renders their apparent 
difference but trifling. This cleft conducts into two ca- 
vities, which might each of them contain an almond. 
Their internal surface is slightly covered with fine hair, 
and pierced with many holes, each of which conducts into 
an oval follicle, of very slight depth ; the concave surface of 
which is again pierced with innumerable pores. The 
odoriferous substance comes from these pores. It fills the 
follicle, and when this is compressed, it proceeds from it 
something, in form, like vermicelli, and enters the larger 
bag. All these follicles are enveloped by a membraneous 
tunic, which receives many of the sanguineous vessels ; and 
this tunic, in its turn, is covered by a muscle, which comes 
from the pubis, and has the power of compressing all the 
follicles, and with them the entire bag, to which they are 
attached. By means of this compression, the animal gets 

Vol. II. 2 D 


rid of the superfluous part of its perfume. Beside this 
odoriferous matter, there is another secreted, which as- 
sumes the form of stiff silken threads, and is mingled with 
the first. The Civet has, besides, a small hole on each 
side of the anus, from which a blackish and very foetid 
liquid issues. 

The odoriferous substance produced by the Civet, and 
to which this animal owes its common name, forms, espe- 
cially in the East, an object of considerable commerce. 
" Its virtues,"" says the Baron, " are greatly vaunted among 
ourselves, and it was once the fashion among those who 
piqued themselves on their elegance, to use it as a per- 
fume, as it has since been to use musk and amber for the 
same purpose. It still enters into the composition of some 
medicaments and perfumes, but its consumption is pro- 
digiously diminished. It used to be brought from the Indies, 
and from Africa, into Europe, by the way of Alexandria 
and Venice." 

Africa, and a part of Asia, appear to be the na- 
tive habitat of this animal. In the East the Civet is 
brought up in a state of domestication, for the purpose 
of gathering its perfume. Father Poncet says, that Enfras, 
a town of Abyssinia, is celebrated for the Civet-trade, and 
that an immense number of these animals are there do- 
mesticated. He has seen upwards of three hundred with 
some merchants. Buffon reports, that a similar practice 
was prevalent in Holland. Certain it is, that this animal 
has been repeatedly brought into Europe, and seen by 
many naturalists ; but as they did not distinguish it from 
the Zibeth, it is impossible to refer what they have said on 
the subject to one animal rather than the other. 

The Civet sleeps continually, and is roused with much 
difficulty. They are animals of the greatest possible in- 
dolence, and, in this respect, not even the Sarigues can be 
compared with them. They differ very much in this point 


from the Mangoustes, with which, however, they have 
a close analogy in the structure of their organs. This 
lethargic state does not permit us to discover any thing like 
intelligence in the Civets: it is probable, however, that 
they have less of it in their wild state, but in captivity they 
do nothing but eat and sleep. When they are irritated, 
the musky odour which they spread becomes stronger ; and 
from time to time it falls from the pouch, in small pieces, 
about the size of a nut. 

The Civet is nearly two feet and a half in length ; the 
tail is more than one foot, and the mean height of the 
animal is about one foot three inches. 

The ancients appear to have been acquainted with no 
species of this animal. As for the names of Civet and 
Zibeth, they are but one and the same name, spelt dif- 
ferently — Viverra Civetta is the scientific name. 

Though the Zibeth appears to have been many times 
described, and known for a long period before Buffon, it 
was, nevertheless, only from that illustrious writer that 
naturalists learned to distinguish it from the Civet, with 
which it had hitherto been confounded. Buffon himself 
found so much resemblance between those animals, that 
he doubted whether they should be considered as distinct 
species or merely as varieties. This doubt might still sub- 
sist, although Gmelin cut the difficulty short by separating 
them, but for the observations of M. F.Cuvier; for the 
Zibeth was not the subject of any other since the time of 
Buffon. Buffon's uncertainty may be explained by the 
bad state of the animals which he compared. The Civet 
had been kept for a long time in a spirituous liquor, and 
the Zibeth he did not see until after its death. It is well 
known how much antiseptic liquids and disease will alter 
and deteriorate all spotted furs. This alteration is quite 
discoverable in the vague and indeterminate descriptions 
which Daubenton gives of these animals, descriptions in 

2 D 2 


which we find nothing of the clearness and precision which 
generally characterizes all the labours of this worthy coad- 
jutor of Buffon. 

We shall not follow M. F. Cuvier (from whom the sub- , 
stance of these observations is taken) in his very minute 
account of the colours of the Zibeth, as we have already 
sufficiently marked its distinction from the Civet, in treating 
of this latter animal. Its musk-pouch, in most respects, is 
similar to that of the Civet, and constitutes a genuine sac, 
the bottom of which, divided into two parts, is terminated 
by two collections of glands which secrete the odoriferous 

Few or no observations have been made on the natural 
character of the Zibeth. It is a sleepy animal, which sees 
badly during day-light ; and, like the Fox, forbears to pro- 
vide for its necessities until the approach of twilight, or of 
night. It preys upon the smaller mammalia, upon birds 
and reptiles, and will occasionally eat the sweeter kind of 
fruits. It is in general silent, but when irritated, it mani- 
fests its anger by scolding and hissing, something like the 
domestic cat, and bristling up the hairs along its back. 
The animal on which these observations were made, was 
brought from the Philippine Islands. Notwithstanding that 
these countries have been so long discovered, they are as 
yet but imperfectly known ; and it appears from the ac- 
counts of travellers, especially of such as have recently 
visited them, that few regions of the globe are better 
adapted to enrich Natural History. Like all large and 
isolated lands, such as Madagascar, New Holland, and 
New Guinea, we might pronounce them to be the result 
of a new creation. Most of their productions exhibit new 
characters, and discover principles of existence before un- 
known. Accordingly, naturalists who may explore them 
will be certain to make numerous and important disco- 
veries in every branch of zoological knowledge. 


We have already ventured to express an opinion against 
the needless multiplication of specific distinctions, founded 
upon trivial, and merely external differences. A better 
place for a reiterated expression of the same opinion can 
hardly be, than after the description just given of the 
Civet and the Zibeth. Here we have seen two animals, 
in size, in form, and in organic structure, precisely similar. 
Their habits, too, as far as we can observe, are exactly the 
same, — both use the same food, both are great sleepers, 
and both are nocturnal. What then is the difference be- 
tween them? A very slight variation in the shades of 
their colours, and in the mode of their arrangement. Is 
this a sufficient ground of specific distinction ? If it be, 
then assuredly the Negro and the European are different 
species. The particulars in which they differ from each 
other are far more numerous and important than the 
variations of the Zibeth and the Civet. The fact is, that 
no certain and universally applicable criterion, by which 
species is to be distinguished from variety, has been yet 
discovered. The want of such a criterion is more espe- 
cially felt in the classification of the minor tribes. As 
specific distinctions are the arbitrary creation of man, 
perhaps such a criterion cannot be found. At all events, 
in the case of multitudes of animals, we are working in the 
dark. Ages of observation will probably be insufficient to 
establish any thing completely determinate on the subject. 

Dr. Horsfield has figured and described the Viverra 
Basse, the Rasse of the Javanese, as another species of the 
first sub-division of the Viverra, i. e., the Civets, properly 
speaking. If the Civet and the Zibet be with propriety 
treated as mere varieties, the former of the African, and 
the latter of the Asiatic world, the Rasse, according to 
Doctor Horsfield's description, would appear to us to stand 
in the same degree of relationship as a Javanese variety. 
It is, indeed, almost painful so frequently to have occasion 


to recur to similar observations, particularly when in some 
degree opposed to such powerful authority as that of the 
eminent zoologist just mentioned ; but so long as the true 
distinctive test between mere varieties of the same species 
and absolute diversity, remains so indeterminate as it is at 
present, uncertainties on this subject must prevail. An 
undue multiplication of species is so much the more ear- 
nestly to be deprecated, as it is injurious to zoological sci- 
ence, by swelling the catalogues of proper names, if not to 
the actual number of individuals, at least of the several coun- 
tries or degrees of latitude and longitude in which the same 
species may be enabled to exist under various influences. 

A comparative slight diversity of size and colour seems 
to constitute the principal differences between the Rasse 
and the Zibet ; but as Doctor Horsfield himself, with his 
usual learning and ability, compares the two, we shall con- 
clude our observations on these animals in his words. 

" The entire length of the Rasse, from the end of the 
muzzle to the root of the tail, is one foot eleven inches ; 
the head measures five inches and one-fourth, and the tail 
twelve inches ; the distance between the ears, at the base, 
is ten lines. A very perfect specimen of the Viverra Zi- 
betha, the Tanggalung of the Malays, forwarded from Su- 
matra by Sir Stamford Raffles, affords the means of shewing 
more distinctly the peculiarities of the Rasse by a careful 
comparison. The Tanggalung is two feet six inches long ; 
the head measures six inches and three-fourths, and the 
tail eleven inches. The space between the ears is two 
inches. The proportion of the parts of the body of the two 
species are very different. The Viverra Zibetha is compa- 
ratively a stout animal ; the neck is short and thick, and 
the breast full and distended. The head, which in the 
Rasse is regularly attenuated, in form of a wedge, in the 
Tanggalung, is swelled, rounded, and bulging before the 
ears, and then very abruptly contracted to a short muzzle. 


The ears are ten lines distant in the Rasse, and two inches 
in the Zibetha ; this character gives a very different phy- 
siognomy to the two animals. The tail is nearly cylindrical 
in the Tanggalung ; in the Rasse, it is regularly and uni- 
formly attenuated to a point. In the hairy covering, or fur, 
these two animals are essentially different ; while it is rigid, 
coarse, and rather scantily disposed in the Rasse, it is close, 
soft to the touch, and provided with much down at the base 
in the Tanggalung, and its thickness affords a peculiarity 
to the tail of the latter. 

" I shall now concisely enumerate the distinctions afforded 
by the external marks. The Viverra Zibetha has a single 
black line of considerable breadth, in the highest part of 
the back, bounded on each side by a white line ; exterior to 
this, is an interrupted line of a dark colour, while the rest 
of the back and sides is covered with smaller spots, dis- 
posed in such a manner, as to give the appearance of these 
parts of being transversely undulated. In the Rasse, eight 
regular parallel lines are clearly distinguishable. The 
upper parts of the head and neck present no difference in 
these two animals ; but the marks on the lateral and inte- 
rior parts of the neck, are very dark in the Zibetha, while 
they are faint and indistinct in the Rasse. The rings are 
strongly marked, and pass uniformly around the tail in the 
Rasse ; in the Viverra Zibetha, they are irregularly defined, 
and scarcely perceptible on the under side of the tail. 

" The name Rasse, like many other Javanese names, is 
derived from the Sanskrit language ; and it is therefore 
entitled to be employed as a specific name, with the same 
propriety as Civetta and Zibetha, which are derived from 
the Arabic. Rasse, as employed by the Javanese, is a modi- 
fication of Rasa, and is applied to our animal as producing 
an odoriferous substance. In the original, Rasa has vari- 
ous significations, of which flavour or taste appears to be 


the primary meaning ; the others also relate chiefly to the 
senses, or to emotions that arise from them ; fluids or juices 
are comprised among its meanings, and many applications 
of the word Rasa and its compounds, to odoriferous sub- 
stances, perfumes, fyc, might be adduced. 

" The Viverra Rasse supplies in Java the place which the 
Viverra Civetta holds in Africa, and the Viverra Zibetha 
on the Asiatic continent ; from Arabia to Malabar, and in 
the large islands of the Indian Archipelago. I have endea- 
voured to show that, by its form and marks, it is essentially 
distinct from the Viverra Zibetha, and it differs as much in 
its natural disposition as in external characters. The 
Viverra Zibetha is an animal comparatively of a mild dis- 
position : it is often found among the Arabs and Malays 
which inhabit the maritime parts of Borneo, Macassar, 
and other islands, in a state of partial domestication, and, 
by the account of the natives, becomes reconciled to its 
confinement, and in habits, and degree of tameness, resem- 
bles the common domestic cat. The Rasse, on the contrary, 
preserves in confinement the natural ferocity of its disposi- 
tion undiminished. As the perfume is greatly valued by the 
natives, it is frequently kept in cages ; but as far as I have 
observed, must always be obtained for this purpose from 
a wild state, never propagating in a state of confinement. 

" The Rasse is not unfrequently found in Java, in forests of 
a moderate elevation above the level of the ocean. Here it 
preys on small birds and animals of every description. It 
possesses the sanguinary appetite of animals of this family 
in a high degree ; and the structure of its teeth correspond 
strictly with the habits and modes of life. In confinement, 
it will devour a mixed diet, and is fed on eggs, fish, flesh and 
rice. Salt is reported by the natives to be a poison to it. 
The odoriferous substance, the Dedes of the Javanese, or 
Jibet of the Malays, is collected periodically ; the animal is 


placed in a narrow cage, in which the head and anterior ex- 
tremities are confined ; the posterior parts are then easily 
secured, while the Civet is removed with a simple spatula. 

" The substance obtained from the Rasse agrees with the 
civet afforded by the Viverra Civetta and Zibetha, in 
colour, consistence, and odour. It is a very favourite per- 
fume among the Javanese, and applied both to their dresses, 
and by means of various unguents and mixtures of flowers 
to their persons. Even the apartments and the furniture 
of the natives of rank are generally scented with it to such 
a degree as to be offensive to Europeans, and at their feasts 
and public processions the air is widely filled with this 

The next sub-division of the Viverras are the Genets. 
It will be sufficient for our purposes to notice here the 
Genet of Barbary. Two animals of this species were pre- 
sented to the French menagerie, by M. Adanson, brother 
to the celebrated naturalist and traveller of the same 
name. These animals were very young when first re- 
ceived at Paris, and they lived for more than ten years. 
When they died, it was discovered that they had lost all 
their teeth. Whether this was accident, or the effect of age, 
is doubtful. They were kept in a cage not very spacious, in 
a corner of which they passed the day fast asleep, and rolled 
up in a ball. It was during the night that they watched, 
took their food, and satisfied all their other wants. 

From their slender and elongated body, pointed muzzle, 
short limbs, and entire physiognomy, we might feel in- 
clined to refer them to the family of the Martens. But a 
more attentive examination, and a more detailed study of 
their organization, prove their approximation to the Ci- 
vets, by the side of which they are accordingly ranged in a 
particular group. 

The teeth of the Genet are exactly similar to those of 


the Civets. It is, like them, only a semi-carnivorous ani- 
mal. If it can be fed with meat, it can also be supported 
on bread, milk, fyc, without any intermixture of animal 

The Genets have two tuberculous molars in the upper 
jaw, and one in the lower, together with three carnivorous 
teeth, which are very thick, and are themselves tuberculous.' 
There are also three false molars in the upper jaw and 
three in the lower. 

The Genet's organs of motion are also similar to those 
of the Civet. They have five toes on each foot. That which 
we may call the thumb has but two phalanges, the others 
have three. The three middle toes are the longest. The 
middle one is the longest of all ; next comes the little toe, 
and the thumb is the shortest. They are armed with slen- 
der and semi-retractile claws, which are very sharp, and 
well adapted for climbing. The walk of this animal is di- 
gitigrade, and the tail is semi-pendulous and susceptible of 
voluntary motion, but not adapted for seizing or involving 

On each side of the organs of generation are two glands 
raher thick and projecting, which are joined together at 
their upper part, that is at the side of the anus, by a strip 
of skin which covers them, and give to these parts the ap- 
pearance of a pouch, though in reality they do not form 
one. These glands produce a thick matter, and of an odour 
approaching to that of musk. This forms an additional 
relation between the Genet and Civet. 

The Genet is a nocturnal animal, and the pupil resembles 
that of the Domestic Cat. There is no other peculiarity in 
the organ of vision. The nostrils open at the extremity of 
the muzzle. The lips are susceptible of very limited move- 
ments. The tongue is covered with horny papillae. The 
external ears are large, elliptical, and provided with a small 
lobule. Their aperture is very large. 


The ground colour of the Genet is a yellowish-gray, and 
the body is covered with blackish spots. These are long 
on the neck and shoulders, and generally rounded on the 
sides and limbs. They form almost a continuous line along 
the dorsal ridge. The tail has about ten or eleven dark 
brown or black rings. There is no difference in colour 
between the males and females. 

The Genet may be about a foot or more in length, the 
tail is about nine inches. Its mean height does not exceed 
five inches. 

It would appear that the habits of these animals are 
pretty similar to those of the Weasel tribe. They live, we 
we are told, in low grounds, and in the neighbourhood of 
small rivers. They are easily tamed, as are all semi-carni- 
vorous animals. Belon tells us that they are found at Con- 
stantinople in a domestic state, and like Cats, are employed 
to take Rats and Mice. This we may easily believe, as 
both are nocturnal animals. Those which belonged to the 
French Museum were a male and female : they coupled, 
and one young one was produced, which was immediately 
killed by the male on its appearance in the world. Gesta- 
tion continued about four months. This young one was 
about five inches long, and the colour of its parents. 

So many changes have lately been introduced into the 
arrangement of the Viverrine animals, that it is extremely 
difficult to determine, from books, what is the real number 
of them, or their varieties already described. The intro- 
duction, by the Baron Cuvier, of the new sub-genus para- 
doxurus, to which we shall shortly have occasion to refer 
more particularly, renders it difficult to ascertain the identity 
of the several animals noticed by authors. We shall, hew- 
ever, endeavour, to follow the authority of the Baron on 
this subject, so far, at least, as the materials before us will 
elucidate his intentions. 


The Fossan (Viverra Fossa of Gm.) is very much assimilated 
to the Common Genet, both in form and the disposition of 
the colours of its fur. The ground colour is reddish-gray, 
the upper part of the head is brown, mixed with red and 
gray ; there is a pale yellowish-white spot above each eye ; 
four brown bands pass from the neck to the middle of the 
back ; a series of brown spots is continued from them to 
the tail ; similar bands and spots are found on the posterior 
part of the sides of the neck, shoulders, flanks, and outside 
of the thighs ; the tail is semi-annulated. 

Others, marked with transverse bands on the upper part 
of the body, have been designated as distinct species, but 
with what propriety is a question that must be left to 
future investigation. We have now before us no less than 
seven original drawings of different individuals, all differing 
very materially in external characters ; but in the present 
state of knowledge of these animals, we really fear to in- 
crease perplexity, rather than diminish it, by publishing 
them, particularly as they cannot be accompanied with ver- 
bal descriptions of minute examination. Passing over, 
therefore, several that have been described as distinct, by 
Gmelin, Buffon, Geoffroy St. Hilaire, Pallas, and Blain- 
ville, we shall proceed to notice one very singularly 
formed animal, which the Baron has placed, conditionally, 
in this sub-division of the mammalia, and of which we 
are enabled to give a figure. 

The extreme caution of the Baron, on the subject of 
multiplying the genera and species, has, probably, induced 
him to place this animal with the Genets; but it must be 
remembered, that this classification is only conditional, 
and probability strongly indicates that a more intimate 
knowledge of the species will fully warrant its generic 

The animal in question is the Hy&na Genet (Viverra 
Hyenoides, Cuvier). The specimens in the Parisian Mu- 


seum are young, so that we are, as yet, unacquainted with 
the minute detail of its organization in an adult state. 

The Hyaena Genet has, in all, thirty teeth: the six in- 
cisors, in both jaws, are flat, trenchant, and divided by a 
furrow on the external side ; the canines are very sharp, 
straight, and form a much elongated cone, those of the 
lower jaw being slightly bent. There are four cheek-teeth 
above, very small, and separated from each other, the three 
first being false molars, each with a single point, and the 
fourth a small tuberculous tooth, with two tubercles. In 
the lower jaw, there are three false molars, the first with a 
single point, and a single root ; the second with two roots, 
a single point, and a little posterior heel ; and the third 
with two little points, and a small heel. The condyles of the 
lower jaw are on a line with the teeth, as in the felinae. 

The general form of the skull, without the integuments, 
is intermediate between those of the Genets and the Dogs. 

The general appearance of the animal is perfectly that 
of the Hyaena, except in size, its maximum of develop- 
ment not appearing to exceed half that of the Spotted 
Hyaena ; the individuals in question are not larger than a 

But to describe its characters rather more minutely, the 
ears are long and pointed ; the nose is assimilated to that 
of the Dogs. There are five toes on the fore feet, and four 
on those behind, armed with strong pointed claws. The foot 
seems constructed nearly for the plantigrade mode of motion. 
The ground colour is yellowish-gray, varied on the body with 
six or seven black bands, passing from the dorsal line to 
the flanks ; three small longitudinal bands mark the fore 
part of the shoulders, and one the upper part of the crup- 
per. The thighs and legs, both before and behind, have 
some imperfect annuli. A black mane, like that of the 
Hysena, passes down the neck and dorsal line. The tarsi 
and fingers are of a deep gray-black before. The tail is 


nearly as villose as that of the Fox, and stronger toward 
the end than at its base ; its colour is grayish near the 
body, and a brown-black as it approaches the termination. 
The muzzle is blackish ; the upper part of the head and 
outside of the ears gray. 

The boundless diversity of nature must ever be a subject 
of admiration and astonishment to the limited faculties of 
the human mind. Every creature of organization is dif- 
ferent from all others. Whatever analogies may exist in 
the various genera and species, absolute similarity is no 
where to be found, and the observation, however trite, and 
however familiar, that no two faces are alike, is not the 
less true or the less astonishing. 

The highly singular animal now before us, appears, to a 
certain extent, however limited, to militate against the uni- 
versal application of this observation : one might be almost 
tempted, at first sight, to suppose that nature tired of no- 
velties, and at a loss for further diversity of form, had been, 
as it were, compelled in multiplying her works, to have re- 
course to her own created models, and no longer to draw 
upon the exhausted resources of original powers ; but a de- 
liberate conclusion to that effect would be equally at vari* 
ance with our better notions of Omnipotence, and with the 
wonderful phenomena of creation we see around us. 

We proceed to the third subdivision of the Viverra which 
includes the M angoustes, the first of which is the celebrated 
Ichneumon. If, in the mythological system of the ancient 
Egyptians, the various living beings which people the surface 
of the earth were each entitled to particular reverence in 
consequence of the influence which they exercise over the 
economy of nature, and the part which they contribute to the 
general harmony of the universe, the Ichneumon unques- 
tionably possessed more claims than any other animal to 
the homage of that singular people. It presented a lively 


image of a beneficent power perpetually engaged in the 
destruction of those noisome and dangerous reptiles which 
propagate with such terrible rapidity in hot and humid 
climates. The Ichneumon is led by its instinct, and ob- 
viously destined by its peculiar powers, to the destruction of 
animals of this kind. Not that it dares to attack Croco- 
diles, Serpents, and the larger of the Lizard tribe by open 
force, or when these creatures have arrived at their com- 
plete development. It is by feeding on their eggs that the 
Ichneumon reduces the number of these intolerable pests. 
The Ichneumon, from its diminutive size and timid dispo- 
sition, has neither the power to overcome nor the courage 
to attack such formidable adversaries. Nor is it an anL 
mal of the most decidedly carnivorous appetite. Urged by 
its instinct of destruction, and guided at the same time by 
the utmost prudence, it may be seen at the close of day 
gliding through the ridges and inequalities of the soil, fix- 
ing its attention on every thing that strikes its senses, with 
the view of evading danger or discovering prey. If chance 
favours its researches, it never limits itself to the momen- 
tary gratification of its appetite : it destroys every living 
thing within its reach, which is too feeble to offer it any 
effectual resistance. It particularly seeks after eggs, of 
which it is extremely fond, and through this taste it proves 
the means of destruction to so many Crocodiles. That it 
enters the mouth of this animal when asleep is as much 
true as that it attacks it when awake. This is either a 
fable which never had any foundation, or, like other mira- 
cles and marvels, it has ceased in our unbelieving and less 
favoured era. The time when animals abounded with the 
strangest generic mixtures, and the most extraordinary 
propensities, when every grove and every stream were 
haunted by natures in which the divinity and the brute were 
incongruously commingled, has long gone by. The well- 
spring of faith, the grand source of the miraculous, is 


nearly dried up ; and men have ceased to witness these 
sorts of wonders precisely at the period when th^y ceased 
to believe them. 

The Ichneumon exhibits the utmost perseverance in the 
pursuit of its prey. It will remain for hours in the same 
place watching the animal which it has marked out as its 
victim. This quality renders it an exceedingly proper sub- 
stitute for, a Cat, in the office of ridding a house of such* 
parasitical animals as may have chosen it for their retreat. 
For this purpose the Ichneumons are constantly domesti- 
cated. They acquire an attachment to the house which 
they inhabit, and to the persons with which they are 
brought up ; they never wander, or make the slightest at- 
tempt to regain their original state of wildness and liberty. 
They know the persons, and recognise the voices of their 
masters, and are pleased with the caresses which are be- 
stowed upon them. These animals, however, lose a consi- 
derable part of the mildness of their character in the act 
of eating. They seek the most hidden retreats, and mani- 
fest the utmost anger if any one approach them when they 
are satisfying their appetite. 

When an Ichneumon penetrates into a place unknown to 
it, it immediately explores every hole and corner. Its 
instrument of research appears to be chiefly its sense of 
smelling, which is uncommonly powerful and acute. To 
this it seems principally to trust, for its other senses, par- 
ticularly those of sight, taste, and touch, are comparatively 
feeble, and present no peculiar characteristics. The exter- 
nal ear, indeed, is remarkable, by its considerable breadth, 
and the extension of the orifice. 

The organs of the Ichneumon are the same with those of 
all the Mangoustes. There are six incisives in each jaw 
and two canines. The upper jaw has three false molars, 
the carnivorous tooth, and two tuberculous ; the lowest jaw 
has one tuberculous tooth less, but its carnivorous tooth is 


vemarkable for two tubercles on its internal face. There 
are five toes on each foot, the thumb is very short, and 
apparently useless. All these toes are armed with strong 
and crooked claws. The sole is naked, and covered with 
a very fine and delicate skin. The eye has a long trans- 
versal pupil, but no other particular character. The nose 
passes&the lower jaw, but is not mobile. The tongue is 
rough like that of Cats. The walk of this animal is com- 
pletely digitigrade, though occasionally, in standing, it rests 
on the entire tarsus. 

Some differences from the Civets, fyc, which form the 
ground of our author's subdivision of the viverrse, are obser- 
vable in the anal pouch of the Ichneumon. In them this 
appendage is found below the anus. In the Ichneumon, 
on the contrary, the common integuments, elongated and 
folded over, form, beyond the sphincter muscle, a sack, 
which the animal can open or shut at pleasure. 

The colour of the Ichneumon is a deep brown picked out 
with dirty white. The tail is terminated by a tuft of hairs 
entirely brown. The Ichneumon is about one foot three 
inches in length, and the tail an inch longer. The mean 
stature of the animal is about eight inches. 

The Ichneumon was well known to the ancients; but 
they have mingled so many fables with their recitals of it, 
and their authorities on the subject are so very contra- 
dictory, that little can be collected from their writings with 
any certainty concerning the natural history of this animal. 
The moderns have also been long acquainted with the 
Ichneumon. From Belon we have had its first description 
and figure. Afterwards, it was confounded with the other 
Mangoustes, and little reliance can be placed on the figures 
which have been given of it, and which are also so gene- 
rally incorrect, as to convey no idea whatever of the ani- 
mal. Buffon's is tolerably good, but the best is that of 

Vol. II. 2 E 


Brisson, Linnaeus, Buffon, and all naturalists before 
Schreber, admitted but a single species of the Mangouste 
or Ichneumon, though Edwards had expressed a doubt con- 
cerning the identity of his Indian Ichneumon with that of 
Egypt. Schreber was the first who established three spe- 
cies: viz., the Egyptian, the Mangouste of Buffon, and a 
species which Gmelin has called the Viverra Cafra, whose 
habitat he refers to Southern Africa, though Geoffroy 
makes it Asiatic. Buffon, indeed, has given, in his supple- 
ments, the figure of a large Mangouste, which, however, 
he does not describe, and that of a smaller species, which 
he calls Nems, now identified with the V. Cafra. Vosmaer, 
on the other hand, has represented a Mangouste of the 
Indies, not at all resembling that of Buffon. Such was 
the state of the history of those curious animals, when 
M. Geoffroy, in the " Menagerie du Museum," described 
the Ichneumon, and separated it more forcibly from the 
other two species than Schreber or Gmelin had done. 
The French Menagerie has, since that time, received a 
great number of Mangoustes from Africa and the East. 
Among these were found distinctly characterized: 1st, 
the Egyptian Ichneumon, Ichneumon Pharaonis ; 2d, the 
great Mangouste of Buffon, Ichneumon major; 3d, the 
least, Ichneumon griseus ; and 4th, the Mangouste de l'lnde, 
Ichneumon mungo of Buffon, distinct from all the others 
by transversal bands across the back. Having distin- 
guished these, five others remained from Pondicherry, the 
Cape, the Isle of France, and Java, differing from each 
other by almost insensible shades of gray and brown, so 
that those nearest each other seemed only varieties, while 
the opposite extremities of the series were so unlike as 
to look like different species. M. Geoffroy, in his de- 
scription of Egypt, has designated them by different 
names, and characterized them with his usual accuracy. 
How far they may properly be considered as distinct 


species, we cannot, but express, though with all deference 
and respect, an humble doubt. 

We shall give a description of one of this indeterminate 
series from M. F. Cuvier. It was brought from the penin- 
sula of Malacca. This Mangouste, which is the generic 
name of these animals in the East Indies, was rather more 
than a foot in length, the tail about a foot, and his height 
at the most elevated point of the back, five inches and a 
half. These animals have a peculiar faculty of elongating 
or shortening their bodies some inches, which renders it a 
difficult matter to measure them correctly. 

The organs we have already described. This animal 
drank by lapping, and held its prey to the earth, like Dogs, 
for the purpose of devouring it. Its voice was generally 
hoarse and croaking, but became sharp and sustained when 
eager for food. 

The general colour of this animal is a dirty gray, resulting 
from the black and whitish yellow rings, which cover the 
hairs — the circumference of the eye, the ear, and the extre- 
mity of the muzzle are naked and violaceous ; the tail is the 
same colour as the body, very thick at the root, and termi- 
nating in a point with yellowish hairs. 

This Mangouste, though extremely tame, permitting 
itself to be handled, and taking pleasure in caresses, grew 
extremely ferocious at sight of those little animals which 
constitute its prey. Birds it was particularly fond of, and 
when they were put into its cage, which was very large, it 
would spring forward with a rapidity which the eye could 
not follow, seize them, break their heads, and then devour 
them with the utmost voracity ; as soon as its appetite was 
satisfied, it would lie down in the most obscure corner of 
its retreat. When irritated, the hairs of its tail used to 
bristle up. Its cleanliness was extreme. We are informed 
that in the Indies these animals inhabit holes in the 
walls, or small burrows in the neighbourhood of habi(a- 

2 E 2 


tions, and cause as much devastation there as the Weazels 
or Pole-Cats among ourselves. 

We shall now speak of the Mangouste of Java. We 
have seen, in our last description, that after the separation 
of all the species of this genus, which are distinguished by 
precise characters, several remained, and formed a kind of 
series, the graduations of which were marked by almost in- 
sensible shades of colour. 

The Mangouste of Malacca, which we have just described, 
may stand at the head of this indeterminate series, if we 
commence it with the grayer tints, and the Javan Mangouste 
may close it, as being of the brownest shade. 

In fact, the Mangouste of Java differs from the other 
only by a fur picked out with black and brown, instead of 
black and white, and by its somewhat larger size ; both have 
the muzzle blackish, the back more deeply shaded than the 
sides, the extremities, and the head. 

This species (if a species) is found not only in Java, but 
also on the continent, and is probably dispersed through a 
large portion of the East Indies. 

We have a description of it in Dr. Horsfield's Zoological 
Researches in Java, rendered much more valuable by the 
observations which accompany it in relation to the viverrine 
animals in general, and the minute comparison he makes 
between it and his Felis Gracilis, which he makes a distinct 
genus of the Feline family. After what has been already 
said on these animals in general, and on the Javanese 
species or variety in particular, we shall not extract his 
descriptions of physical peculiarities, but confine ourselves 
shortly to those of mental impulse and local interest. 

It is known in Java by the name of Garangan, and is 
found there most abundantly in the large teak forests; its 
agility is greatly admired by the natives : it attacks and 
kills serpents with excessive boldness, and in this operation 
it is said that when the snake involves the Garangan in its 

4- iH 

H.,i, . ' ■■■' 


• . "H 'Hi':: 


■ •:■) ;';■:■ . 
: ' :'4'*";'-'.:..!i ■'.:.:.■ 

** ; ji 


folds, the latter inflates its body to a considerable degree, 
and when the reptile is about to bite, again contracts, slips 
from between the folds, and seizes the snake by the neck. 

It is very expert in burrowing the ground, which process 
it employs ingeniously in the pursuit of rats : it possesses 
great natural sagacity, and from the peculiarities of its 
character willingly seeks the protection of man : it is readily 
tamed, and, in a domestic state, is docile, and attached to 
its master, whom it follows like a dog ; it is fond of caresses, 
and frequently places itself erect on its hind legs, regarding 
every thing that passes with great attention : it is of a very 
restless disposition, and always carries its food to the most 
retired place in which it is kept, to consume it : it is very 
cleanly in its habits : it is exclusively carnivorous (at least, 
as we conjecture, in a state of nature,) and is very de- 
structive to poultry, employing great artifice in the sur- 
prising of chickens — for this reason it is rarely found in a 
domestic state among the natives, as one of their principal 
articles of food is the common fowl, and great numbers 
are reared in all their villages. The Javanese also, like 
Mahomedans in general, have a great partiality for cats, 
and they are unwilling, in most cases, to be deprived of 
their society for the purpose of introducing the Garangan. 
It has also been observed that its sanguinary character 
shews itself occasionally in a manner that renders it dan- 
gerous in a family as a domestic animal, and it indulges, at 
intervals, in fits of excessive violence. 

The Suricate has been known hitherto only by the figure 
and description of BufFon and Daubenton. v Its organiza- 
tion was inferred to be similar to that of the Civets, Genets, 
and Mangoustes ; and in methodical catalogues, it was ac- 
cordingly united with those animals. Even M. Fred. Cuvier, 
in his valuable observations on teeth in the animals of the 


Museum, was led, from the general similarity between its 
dentition and that of the Civets, to attach it to the same 

Its general figure and habits bear little resemblance 
to those animals : Buffon compared it with the Civet, and 
if his idea was not followed up, it was because more 
importance was attached to the colours of the fur and glan- 
dular pouches of the anus, than to the physiognomy and ha- 
bits of body. Yet these last characters are often of greater 
consequence than the former, and the general analogies of 
nature may be established on them with greater certainty. 

Erxleben, Gmelin, #c, made the Suricate one of the 
species of their Viverrce, and placed it next the Mangoustes 
and Coatis. The Suricate is now a sub-genus of the re- 
formed subdivisions of the Viverrae. 

Among our own animals the Pole-Cat and Ferret are those 
which, in external appearances, are closest to the Suricate. 
Among foreign species, it most resembles the smaller Man- 
goustes ; but it differs considerably from both, by its slender 
and elevated limbs, compact body, extreme length of nose, 
plantigrade walk, fyc. Its physiognomy is indeed altogether 
peculiar, and has no type among the known Mammalia. 

Like all the Carnassiers the Suricate has five incisors and 
two canines in each jaw : its upper molars on each side 
are five, two false, one carnivorous, of the form of an iso- 
sceles triangle. The internal tubercle of this tooth is so 
thick, that we can scarcely consider the tooth as trenchant ; 
then come two false molars of the same form, but smaller 
than the carnivorous, and having a tubercule on each 
angle of their triangles. 

The lower jaw has three false molars ; the third of these 
has anteriorily an elevated point, and posteriorily a sort of 
heel composed of two soft tubercles. After these comes 
the carnivorous tooth, with a thick joint, divided into two 


small tubercles, and terminating behind like the preceding 
tooth. The series of teeth in this jaw is terminated by a 
tuberculous one, which greatly resembles the carnivorous 
tooth just described. 

From this description it is easy to see that the Suricates are 
less carnivorous than the Mangoustes, and approach more to 
the omnivorous character, not from the number of the tuber- 
culous, but from the form of the carnivorous, teeth. The 
mode of action in these teeth confirms this notion. Among 
animals of prey the carnivorous teeth act one upon the other, 
like the blades of a pair of scissors, and the lower carnivo- 
rous passes completely behind that of the opposite jaw. 
In proportion as the appetite is less sanguinary, the upper 
carnivorous tooth advances, and the lower recedes, so that 
they act but partially on each other. In the Mangoustes the 
whole anterior part of the lower carnivorous acts against the 
entire extent of the internal face of the upper. But this same 
part in the Suricate corresponds to the vacuum left between 
the opposite teeth, while its posterior part is in opposition 
with the first tuberculous. Finally, the anterior part of the 
upper carnivorous is opposed to the posterior part of the 
last false molar. Thus we see that both the action and the 
form of these teeth have many relations with those of the 

The Suricate has a very fine sense of smelling, which 
neither detracts from the extent of the brain, nor causes 
that preponderance in the sense of taste, which is usual 
where the former organ is much developed. Among the 
Cats, we find that where the brain is extended, the sense of 
smell is feeble. The anterior extremity of the cerebal cavity 
advances so as to correspond with the middle of the orbit, 
and all the parts of the olfactory organ are much limited, 
and likewise those of that of taste. In Dogs, the brain 
also advances to the middle of the orbit, but the bones of 
the nose are elongated, and the parts of the mouth extended 


in a similar proportion. With the Suricate, the brain, as 
in Cats and Dogs, corresponds, anteriorly, with the middle 
of the orbit, but as the bones of the nose remain very 
short, the animal's sense of smell would be^ery feeble, but 
for the extension of the cartilaginous parts in the same or- 
gan. This incontestably favours the exercise of smell, 
while the power of taste is still limited by the shortness 
of the aforesaid bones. The nose is terminated by a glan- 
dulous organ, in which open the nostrils, formed somewhat 
like those of Dogs. There is nothing particular in the other 
organs of sense. 

The cerebral cavity is remarkable by itsextetn, breadth, 
and rounded form. This, again, distinguishes the Suricate 
from the Mangoustes, which are characterized by the nar- 
row and cylindrical form of this cavity. 

The mammae are three in number on each side, and the 
anus is surrounded by a naked skin, which covers a glan- 
dulous apparatus, leading by two orifices to the- internal 
edge of the rectum. The limbs are terminated by four 
toes, armed with long and digging nails. The feet are 
characterized by certain tubercles, and are covered with a 
fine skin, like that of the human hand. 

With these differences of organization, certain differences 
of habit are found to correspond. The Suricate does not 
move like the Polecats or Mangoustes, with the head low, 
the body elongated, and the rapidity of an arrow. Its body 
is arched, and though it proceeds quickly, it has not that 
uniformity of motion which makes the others appear to 
glide rather than run. It places the entire sole on the 
ground, and can easily stand upright on its hind legs. 
Sometimes it will carry its provisions to its mouth with its 
fore-paws. Its sense of smell is its principal guide. It 
ferrets about, thrusting its mobile nose into every hollow 
place, and when it finds an object which strikes its sense of 
smell, it seizes it instantly, and devours it. Sweet fruits 


are not disagreeable to it, but it prefers animal matters, 
milk, eggs, and the flesh of birds. It laps in drinking. It 
cannot bear light, and sees but in obscurity. 

Its sense of hearing must be but feeble, from the small 
extent and mobility of the auditory conch, and also 
from the extreme predominance of the sense of smelling 
over the rest, a result not only of the great development of 
those parts in which it is situated, but also of the frequent 
use which the animal makes of it. That of touch resides, 
like as in other Mammalia, chiefly in the silken hairs in the 
mustaches, and, probably, in the soft and naked skin, 
which covers the soles of the feet. 

The Suricate, as might be prejudged from the great deve- 
lopment of the brain, is easily tamed. It soon acquires 
a clear notion of the circumstances in which it is placed, 
and learns to estimate the degree of confidence it should 
repose in all that surrounds it. Like a Cat, it traverses the 
house which it inhabits, and will never leave it. It is, in a 
high degree, susceptible of affection, and also of hatred ; 
though we cannot agree with M. Fred. Cuvier, that one is 
always a necessary consequence of the other. Cats are less 
susceptible of affection than Dogs, and more so of hatred. 
The Suricate recognises those who tend it, is pleased with 
their caresses, and becomes permanently attached to them ; 
but it preserves rancour against those who have offended 
it, and will seize the first favourable occasion for ven- 
geance. It will even conceive prepossessions so powerful 
as not to be removed by the kindest treatment. This spe- 
cies, erroneously attributed by Buffon to America, is found 
in the south of Africa. 

The fur of this animal is a dull brown, inclining to fawn 
underneath, and crossed by slight transversal bands, prin- 
cipally on the back. On the limbs there is a silvery tint. 
The skin itself is of a tan colour on the naked parts. The 
tail is brown. The length of the body from tail to muzzle 


is about eleven inches ; the tail itself about seven, and 
the mean height of the animal may be about six and a 

From the details now given, we may conclude that this 
animal fills the void between the genuine carnivora and the 
plantigrades. The teeth are more tuberculous than those of 
the Mangoustes, and less so than those of the Coatis. The 
organization of the hind-foot, the number of toes excepted, 
is the same as that of the Mangoustes, but the sole with the 
latter is only half uncovered, but in the Suricate it is entirely 
so, as in the Coati. Like the last-mentioned animal, the 
muzzle of the Suricate is prolonged considerably beyond 
the jaws, but its tongue, furnished with horny papilla? in 
the middle and soft at the sides, approaches it by the first 
of these characters to the M angouste, and by the second to 
the Coati. If the Suricate does not completely fill the void 
we have mentioned, it requires only some very slight mo- 
difications to do so. The discovery of a new genus might 
so completely unite the two groups, as to leave nothing 
abrupt between them. In consequence of what we have 
now detailed, M. F. Cuvier seems to think that the subdi- 
visions of the Plantigrades is not a natural one, and that 
these animals ought to terminate or commence the series 
of one of the branches of the genuine Carnivora. 

This animal is the Viverra Suricata of Erxleben, the Vi- 
verra Tetradactyla of Schreber and Gmelin, the Suricate 
Viverrin of M. Desmarest, and the Ryzena of Illiger. This 
last, as a generic name, seems more eligible for adoption 
than names which time and usage have consecrated to spe- 
cific designation. 

We now come to the last subdivision of the Digiti- 
grades, the first snb-genus of which is the formidable Hyaena. 
Rounded spots, scattered in small number over a fur of a 
yellowish*dun colour, and the Southern part of Africa as 


its habitat, are the only characters which distinguish the 
Spotted from the Striped Hyssna. 

We begin to fear that, from frequent recurrence to the 
same position, it may be thought we are rather broaching 
a particular hypothesis than concentrating by compila- 
tion to one focus the various labours of others, which, 
with occasional comments and reflections, and original 
graphic illustrations, forms in reality the more hum- 
ble object of our endeavours. Renouncing, therefore, 
more lofty pretensions, and deprecating the anger of those 
who may know better and think differently, we again ad- 
vert to the too great readiness with which some naturalists 
have established diversity of colour as a ground of diversity 
of species. There are cases, however, we mUst allow, in 
which there is no other obvious criterion of distinction, in 
the present limited state of our zoological knowledge. Two 
species may have always remained distinct, though the only 
point of dissimilarity between them may be a very slight 
variation in the arrangement of their colours. Yet even 
here we should be cautious, and hesitate to pronounce any 
more than a provisional judgment on the subject. Many 
causes may prevent the intercourse of animals, which, from 
their not intermixing, we refer to different species. When 
we see two races of animals inhabiting the same country 
never intermix, and always preserve the same external dif- 
ferences, we may with confidence pronounce them distinct. 
But we must always be liable to some error in our judg- 
ments concerning animals which inhabit different countries, 
and whose characteristic differences are slight and external. 
Even if when we bring them together, they refuse to in- 
termix, it would be no sufficient proof of specific difference, 
for we know how much the instincts of wild animals are 
weakened or perverted in the unnatural state of captivity. 
This is true even of those animals of whose specific iden- 
tity no doubt can be entertained. Transpose the habitats 


of the two species of Hysena, and let them breed each in the 
country proper to the other, and if their progeny did not 
depart from the specific character of their ancestors in as- 
suming those of the other species, we should have strong 
evidence of diversity of species. In short, if no external 
influences are found to approximate their specific charac- 
ters, and the joint offspring of the two turn out to be hy- 
bridous and sterile, that doubt upon their distinctness would 
then be removed, which appears to us to exist in the ab- 
sence of such evidence. 

We must be contented, however, on this subject, with 
simple observation. The modus operandi of those causes 
which act so differently on different species of animals, is 
to us buried in the profoundest obscurity. Many of the 
consequences, therefore, which we are fond to deduce from 
the phenomena of nature, and to elevate into general laws, 
may, for aught we know, be forced, foundationless, proof- 
less. To be assiduous in observation, and cautious in de- 
duction, is the golden rule of philosophy. 

Notwithstanding, then, the slight differences between the 
Spotted and the Striped Hyaena, we must consider them as 
separate species, until we are in possession of certain proofs 
of their intermixture and identity ; until we see the cha- 
racters of one confounded with those of the other, until we 
see the spots of the former lengthen into stripes, and the 
stripes of the latter shorten into spots. 

The Spotted Hycena, in stature and corpulence, resem- 
bles a large Mastiff. The head, however, is more thick 
and less elongated, and its motions have less freedom and 
elasticity. The hinder part of the body it carries very low, 
owing to its constantly keeping the articulations of the 
hinder legs considerably bent. Its glance is unsteady, for 
it is dazzled by a strong light, and this gives an additional 
indecision to its movements. Not that the animal is by 
any means deficient in force and vivacity. It is susceptible 


of very violent feelings, and on such occasions is capable 
of acting with equal promptness and energy. The senti- 
ments, indeed, which it manifests, however opposite in 
their nature, are all of a violent character : its hatred and 
its affection are both equally strong. An individual of this 
species, described by M. F. Cuvier, showed the utmost 
confidence in all its keepers ; and for one in particular, 
evinced an affection very unusual in wild animals, and 
parallel to nothing but what we witness daily in the common 
domestic Dog. On the other hand, his hatred was ex- 
tremely violent, and he often would exhibit excessive rage 
against persons who had done him no kind of injury. On 
such occasions he would tremble with rage, the foam would 
issue in abundance from his mouth, the hairs of his back 
would bristle up, and blows had no other effect than to ex- 
asperate his anger. He was taken very young at the Cape 
of Good Hope, and had been tamed without difficulty. On 
his arrival in France, his cage having been left partly 
open, he walked out, and went away before he was ob- 
served. As soon as his flight was known, his keepers 
went to take him, and saw him enter the cottage of a 
peasant very quietly, where he suffered himself to be re- 
taken without the least opposition. This docility is not 
peculiar to some individuals of this species, but common to 
all. Barrow informs us, in his journey to the Cape, that 
the Spotted Hyaena has been tamed in the district of 
Schneuburg, where it is considered more serviceable for 
the chase than the Dog, and fully equal to that animal in 
intelligence and fidelity. The relations between the Hyaena 
and Dog, led Linnaeus to class them together in the same 
genus, but a more attentive examination has shewn, that 
the Hyaenas form a genus in themselves, as distinct and 
natural as that of the Dogs. Their molars are five in 
number, in the upper jaw: three false ones, one car- 
nivorous, and one tuberculous. Four only in the lower: 


three false molars, and one carnivorous. All these teeth 
are remarkable for their size and strength ; and are parti- 
cularly adapted thereby for breaking large bones, a physical 
fact, in perfect harmony with their singular liking and 
appetite for bones as food. In each jaw are also two 
very strong canines, and six incisors. The fore-feet, as 
well as the hinder, have four toes armed with claws, 
adapted for digging. The pupil, when half closed, has 
an elongated and pyramidal form. The nostrils resemble 
those of Dogs. The tongue is covered with rough papillae. 
The ears are large, very open, possessing great mobility, 
and habitually directed forwards. There are mustachios 
on the upper lip and cheek. The hairs of the coat are 
generally long, copious, and rough. Under the anus is a 
longitudinal cleft, which produces an unctuous and fetid 
matter. The Hyaena is digitigrade. Its sense of smell 
seems most acute, yet it prefers flesh which has began to 
turn to that which is fresh. Four or five pounds a day 
seem to satisfy it. It drinks lapping. Its voice resem- 
bles groaning, or loud wailing. The reproduction and 
habits of these animals are equally unknown. The usual 
colour is a dirty fawn, bordering on a blackish-brown 
towards the lower parts. The extremity of the muzzle is 
black. The Spotted Hyaena is about four feet and upwards 
in length, and its height to the shoulder about two feet 
three or four inches ; to the loins not two feet. 

The Striped Hy&na presents a remarkable example of 
the facility with which errors are admitted and spread 
abroad, even when the truth might be easily ascertained. 
Aristotle, who knew the animal, has left us a very succinct 
description of it, and combated fables on the subject which 
were even current in his own time. Pliny, however, relates 
these fables in preference to following the text of Aris- 
totle, and he has been copied by most of those who have 
written subsequently on natural history, even by those 


authors to whom the restoration of the science in Europe 
has been owing. To Busbec and Koempfer we are indebted 
for a new and more correct acquaintance with the Hyaena. 
Since them it has been often described, and it is at present 
one of the best known of the carnivorous tribe. The 
length of the body, measured on the skeleton, is, from tail 
to occiput, about four feet. The head ten inches, and the 
tail seven. The posterior height is above two feet, the ante- 
rior about a foot and a half. In the upper parts of the body 
the colour is a yellowish-gray, varied by transversal bands 
of a black-brown. The mane is gray, with some black 
spots. The muzzle and the external face of the ears are 
violet-brown. The woolly hairs are small in number, the 
others rough, long, and somewhat thick, except on the 
limbs, where they are short and close. The mane is com- 
posed of them, and is considerably larger than that of the 
Spotted Hyaena. There are long mustaches on the upper 
lip, above the eyes, and on the cheeks. It is unnecessary to 
repeat the generic characters. The ears, however, it may 
be observed, have two folds at their base, one on the inter- 
nal, the other on the external, edge. 

The voracity of this animal, its preference of the flesh 
of carcasses to living prey, and its consequent propensity to 
disinter the dead, have bestowed upon it a character for 
ferocity not founded in truth. Ill treatment will render it 
extremely furious, but under opposite circumstances, it 
will exhibit the most remarkable degree of mildness and 
docility. Its cage may be entered with impunity, it will 
approach to fawn upon those it knows ; and were it not 
for the prejudices of the public on this subject, a Hysena 
thus tamed might be intrusted with as much liberty as a 
common Dog. There is in these respects a remarkable 
coincidence of character between the two Hysenas, and 
both in a domestic state would doubtless render to Man 
services of the same kind and degree as the canine species. 


Among the Striped Hyaenas are found considerable varie- 
ties, in the shades of the fur and of the transversal bands. 
In some the ground-work of the coat is clear fawn, with 
spots of the same colour, but deeper. In others the ground 
colour is a deep brown, varied with slight bands of gray 
and black. Bruce thought he could distinguish the Hyaena 
of Syria from that of Barbary : but additional observations 
are necessary to ascertain the nature and importance of 
those differences. 

Notwithstanding the facility with which the Hyaena is 
tamed, there can be no doubt of its excessive ferocity in 
its savage state. Its partiality to corrupted flesh leads it 
to the habitations of Man, and the enemies which it finds 
there to encounter must unquestionably contribute to main- 
tain the fierceness of its character. In the East it is com- 
monly observed by night to traverse the suburbs of towns, 
and even penetrate into the interior, to feed on the remains 
of animals which may be found there. It is by no means 
uncommon to see Chacals, Hyaenas, Dogs, and Vultures 
fasten on the same carcass, and agree together tolerably 
well, until the portion becomes too small to satisfy the vo- 
racity of each. 

As we have observed, the ancients were acquainted with 
this animal. It is mentioned by Aristotle, Pliny, iElian, 
and Oppian. The earlier modern naturalists did not recog- 
nise the identity of the Hyaena with that described by the 
ancients. Belon gives the name Hyaena to the Civet, and 
calls the Hyaena itself by the strange appellation of Marine 
Wolf. Busbec and Kcempfer were the first to recognise it. 
" There is in the French Museum an Hyaena, whose coun- 
try is unknown, on which I am in doubt," says the Baron, 
" whether to call it a variety of the Striped Hyaena, or to 
consider it a distinct species." 

The hairs, not only down the spine but on the whole of 
its back and flanks, are long and rough, longer even than 


those on the spine of the Striped Hyasna. They hang 
down on each side, whitish-gray at their base, and blackish- 
brown thence to the tip, so that the whole fur appears of 
an uniform brown colour, only on the fore-legs and hind- 
feet there are some transverse bands, whitish-brown ; the 
insides of the legs under the belly and tail are whitish-gray, 
and there is gray and brown on the head. 

This individual is a small degree less than the common 
striped species. 

There appear also to be two varieties of the Spotted Hyasna. 

One whitish-gray, a little inclining to yellow, with cir- 
cular pure brown spots on the flanks and thighs ; those 
of the shoulder form a band, which is continued as a longi- 
tudinal brown line on each side of the neck ; the feet 
whitish, a little red towards the bottom ; the tail annulated, 
whitish, and brown at the base, and blackish two-thirds 
down ; the head, of the same general colour as the back, 
has a little brown on the cheeks, and some red on the tip. 

The other has more fur, of a red gray colour ; the under 
part of the neck and body only is whitish ; indistinct black 
spots are to be seen on the flanks, crupper, and thighs, and 
there is also a black band on each side the throat ; the legs 
and feet are blackish, but the inner side of the fore-legs is 
reddish-white; the tail, red the first half, is black for the 
remainder ; the head is red, with blackish on the forehead 
and between the eyes ; the under part of the forehead is 
reddish-brown. This appears to be the most common va- 
riety in the vicinity of the Cape. 

The Baron Cuvier, who describes these varieties, is de- 
cided in his opinion upon the diversity of the striped and 
spotted species. He observes it would be important to de- 
termine the limits of the country which each species occu- 
pies ; but we know too little of the natural history of inter- 
tropical Africa for this purpose. 

It seems certain that in the Levant, in Persia, and in 

Vol. II. 2 P 


Egypt, none but the striped species are known, (Bruce's 
large Hyaena being, in all probability, merely a great indi- 
vidual,) and, it is said, they are as big in Barbary ; but 
however erroneously modern Zoologists may, in some cases, 
have located the spotted species in northern Africa and 
western Asia, contrary to better observation and authority, 
it is still very unaccountable, says Cuvier, how it came 
to be represented in an ancient manuscript of Oppian. 
Chance could hardly have induced so singular a coincidence. 

We now proceed to notice two new sub-genera of mammi- 
ferous animals ; first the Paradoxurus of the Baron Cuvier 
and his brother; and, secondly, the Prionodon of Dr. 

The type under which M. F. Cuvier describes this new 
genus is the Poiigoune, a name modified from its Malabar 
appellation of Pounougar-Poune, that is, Civet Cat, (Pa- 
radoxurus typus, Cuv.) This animal has been long known to 
naturalists. It was described by Buffon and Daubenton, 
under the erroneous name of Genette de France ; but of the 
true nature of it, we have been, till lately, in great igno- 
rance. It is the Palm Marten of M. Lechenault. 

To form a correct estimate of the real peculiarities of 
this animal, it seems quite necessary to observe it during 
life, as its skin and skeleton are very similar to those of the 
preceding sub-genera. 

But however allied to the Civets, Genets, and Man- 
goustes, this animal, and its congeners, may be in certain 
of its organs, it differs from them nevertheless, not only in 
parts of its external form, which may or may not have an 
influence on the character of the animal, but also by modi- 
fications, which must necessarily, arguing from analogy , have 
a strong and decided effect on its character. Indeed, when 
seen alive, it is said to be easily recognised as distinct from 
those groups to which it is more or less assimilated. 


In the influential characters of dentition, and of the 
toes, the sub-genus Paradoxurus approximates to the Civets. 
In its heavy form, general physiognomy, and especially the 
plantigrade mode of walking, it approaches the Badgers, 
and in the sub-prehensile power, or spiral twist of its tail, 
it is assimilated, in some degree only, to the transatlantic 
Monkeys, the Poto, and other genera. 

The Pougoune is entirely plantigrade. Its toes, five in 
number, on each foot, are furnished, at their extremity, 
with a thick tubercle, which hinders the point of the nails 
from touching, and wearing on the ground ; these nails are 
also nearly as retractile as those of Cats, and are slender 
and sharp, so that they are enabled to use them like the fe- 
linae, not merely as offensive weapons, but also as an effec- 
tive mean of ascending and descending trees, fyc. The feet 
are nearly palmate, united by a membrane, even to the last 
phalanx. They are furnished with four naked fleshy tu- 
bercles. The relative length of the toes decreases in the 
following order : the middle toe, annular, index, little toe, 
and thumb. 


The tail is one of the greatest peculiarities in the ani- 
mal, and seems, indeed, to have nothing corresponding 
exactly to it in any other. When the tail is as near to a 
straight line as the animal can make it, it is, nevertheless, 
twisted from right to left towards its extremity, so that by 
a particular disposition of the vertebrae, no doubt, the up- 
per part of the tail is turned downwards, whence results 
the following phenomenon : when the tail is curled by the 
action of the upper muscles, this movement is made, at 
first, from the upper to the under side ; and if the muscles 
cease to act when the curling is only half effected, the tail, 
in that case, seems organized like the ordinary prehensile 
tails of other animals ; but if the muscles continue their 
action, the tail returns to its natural state, and the curling 



goes on, but from below to the upper part, as far as the 
insertion, and in which state it is represented on the 

The mammae are three on each side, one pectoral, and 
two ventral. The parts of generation present some pecu- 
liarities, and there is no appearance of a pouch, or even 
folliculi of skin near the anus, as in the Viverrae: 

The eye has a third lid at the internal angle, which can 
be drawn entirely over the ball. The nostrils are similar to 
those of the Dog ; the snout has a swelling, divided by a ver- 
tical furrow, stretching from the edge of the upper lip, but 
not entirely dividing the part. The tongue is long, narrow, 
thin, and aculeated with horny papillae, globular at their 
base, but terminated by a spiny thread ; between these, 
are other tubercles, which are round and soft, and at the 
base of the tongue is a particular gland. 

The ear is rounded, with a deep slope on its posterior 
edge, covered by a strong lobule ; the whole internal sur- 
face of the ear is furnished with tubercles of various sizes ; 
the auditory canal is covered with a sort of little vavle, 
which appears to be destined to close it, and all the projec- 
tions appear disposed to shut into one another, so as 
the more effectually to close the passages when the animal 
shuts the ear, by drawing together the anterior and poste- 
rior parts of the conch, an operation which takes place, 
and continues so long as the animal sleeps. 

The fur is of two sorts, silky and curling, but the former 
is the most abundant ; there are long mustachios on the 
sides of the upper lip and over the eyes. 

The colour of this species is remarkable, inasmuch as it 
varies in different positions and under different angles of 
light ; hence, the animal has been alluded to under the 
name of the Palm Marten, and others as of different co- 
lours. The prevailing tint is yellowish-black, that is, when 


viewed sideways, and so as that theextremities of the hairs 
only are visible ; but if looked upon so as to show any- 
length of fur, it is yellowish ; on this ground, may be per- 
ceived three ranges of spots on each, side of the spine, and 
others sprinkled on the thighs and shoulders ; but if con- 
templated in its black position, the latter spots are no 
longer visible, and the former assume the appearance of 
stripes or lines. The silky hairs are entirely black, so that 
when they only are to be seen, the animal is black ; but as 
these, though long, are few in number compared with the 
others, which are yellow, hence results the difference in the 
general tint, according as the eye may view the surface 
only, or penetrate further into the fur. 

The limbs are black, but the tubercles on the feet are 
flesh-coloured ; the tail is black for one-half its length, as 
well as the head, which becomes paler ; however, towards 
the muzzle, there is a white patch above each eye ; the 
inner side of the ear is flesh-coloured, except round the 
edge ; the external surface is black, except at the edge, 

which is white. 


The individual described by M. F. Cuvier, kept in the 
Paris Museum, slept during the whole day, rolled into a 
ball . It was with much difficulty it could be raised from 
this lethargy; towards the decline of day, he roused himself 
for a short period, but as soon as he had eaten and drank, 
returned to his bed again, which he kept very neat and clean. 
His motions were slow, nor did he appear capable of lively 
sensations. On being troubled, he would utter a sort of 
grunt, by way of menace. Contrary to the Civets and Ge- 
nets, he exhaled no scent. His tail, though curled, had no 
prehensile power. It must be observed, however, that this 
individual died of accumulation of fat, resulting, no doubt, 
from his sedentary life, whence we may infer that, in a 
state of nature, his habits would have been very different. 


The nails of Cats, the teeth of Civets, and the very 
singular manner of twisting its tail, have induced MM. 
Cuvier to apply to this animal and its congeners, the gene- 
ric epithet of Paradoxurus. 

The Musang, Viverra Musanga of Dr. Horsfield, is iden- 
tified by the Baron with the species last described; the 
Doctor, however, informs us that it is subject to several 
varieties, and that in the most common variety of Java, the 
Viverra Musanga is of a much lighter grayish colour. 

Of its manners and habits, Doctor Horsfield says, that 
they are very similar to those of the Genet. If taken while 
young, it becomes patient and gentle during confinement, 
and receives readily animal and vegetable food. It requires 
little attention, and even contents itself with the scanty re- 
mains of the meals of the natives, with fish, eggs, rice, 
potatoes, 8fc. It prefers, however, delicate and pulpy 
fruits ; but when pressed by hunger, also attacks fowls and 

It is most abundant near the villages situated at the con- 
fines of large forests. It constructs a simple nest in the 
manner of Squirrels, of dry leaves, grass, or small twigs, in 
the forks of large branches, or in the hollow of trees. From 
these it sallies forth, at night, to visit the sheds and hen- 
roosts of the natives, in search of eggs, chickens, fyc. Its 
rambles are also particularly directed to the gardens and 
plantations, where fruits of every description, within its 
reach, and particularly pine-apples, suffer extensively from 
its depredations. 

The coffee plantations, in Java, are greatly infested by 
the Viverra Musanga ; in some parts of the island it has, on 
this account, obtained the name of the Coffee-Rat. It devours 
the berries in large quantities, and its visits are soon dis- 
covered by parcels of seeds, which it discharges unchanged. 
It selects only the ripest and most perfect fruits, and the 


seeds are eagerly and easily collected by the natives, as the 
coffee is thus obtained without the tedious process of re- 
moving its membranaceous arillus. 

The injurious effects occasioned by the ravages of this 
animal in the coffee plantations are, however, fully counter- 
balanced by its propagating the plant in various parts of the 
forests, and particularly on the declivities of the fertile hills ; 
these spontaneous groves of a valuable fruit, in various 
parts of the western districts of Java, afford to the natives 
no inconsiderable harvest, while the accidental discovery of 
them, surprises and delights the traveller, in the most se- 
questered parts of the island. 

Sir Stamford Raffles has inserted, in his valuable cata- 
logue of animals, contained in the thirteenth volume of the 
Linnaean Transactions, an account of the Einturong of Ma- 
lacca, and it must be observed, that some time previous to 
the separate classification of the Paradoxurus typus, as a dis- 
tinct genus, by MM. Cuvier, Sir Stamford must have seen 
the impropriety of arranging the animal with the Viverra?, 
as although he does so in point of fact, he adds a mark of 
doubt on its propriety. 

Immediately between Viverra and Ursus is an animal, 
says Sir Stamford, called Binturong, found at Malacca, by 
Major Farquhar. 

The body of this animal is about two feet and a half in 
length, tail nearly the same, bushy and prehensile, height 
from twelve to fifteen inches. It is entirely covered, with 
the exception of the legs and face, with a thick fur of strong 
black hair. Its general appearance and habit is slow and 
crouching ; the body long and heavy, and low on the legs ; 
the tail is thick at the root, gradually diminishing in size to 
the extremity, where it curls inwards. The muzzle is short 
and pointed, somewhat turned up at the nose, and is covered 
with bristly hairs, brown at the points, which lengthen as 


they diverge, and form a peculiar radiated circle round the 
face, giving the countenance a striking and remarkable as- 
pect. The eyes are large, black, and prominent ; and the 
ears are short, rounded, edged with white, and terminated 
by tufts of black hair. There are six incisors, fyc. 

It climbs trees, assisted by its prehensile tail, in which it 
has uncommon strength. Major Farquhar kept one alive 
many years ; it lived both on animal and vegetable food ; 
was particularly fond of plantains, but would also eat fowls' 
heads, eggs, fyc. Its movements are slow, and it is rather 
of a timid disposition ; it sleeps much during day, but is 
more active at night. 

M. Desmarest, perhaps too hastily, makes a distinct spe- 
cies of this animal. We may, perhaps, gather from Doctor 
Horsfield, that he considers it only as a variety. " In Su- 
matra," says he, " the Musang assumes, agreeably to the 
description of Sir T. S. Raffles, a dusky fulvous-colour, and 
the point of the tail is uniformly white. The stripes on the 
back and sides are more distinct than in the dark Javanese 

In addition to the figure of the Paradoxurus typus, from 
M. F. Cuvier, we present a figure of a specimen in the 
Museum at Paris, which is referred to the Binturong of 
Sir Stamford Raffles. It is a female, and certainly does not 
accord in colour with the above description, being almost 
uniformly, except about the face, forehead, and ears, of a 
slate colour. It is also much larger than the Paradoxurus 
typus of Cuvier. 

There is also another specimen, in the Paris Museum, of 
a uniform, fine golden-yellow colour, which was sent to 
that establishment, preserved in spirits ; we have a draw- 
ing of it before us, but as it differs exteriorly, at least, 
from the others, in colour alone, we have not engraved it. 
It is treated, also, by M. Desmarest, as a new species, 


under the name of the Golden Paradoxurus, (Paradoccurus 
aureus). It is a very young specimen. 

Doctor Horsfield, also, gives us a description and figure 
of a rare Javanese animal, the Delundung, which appears 
to hold, analogous to some others, an intermediate station 
between two genera or sub-genera of our author, Felis and 
Viverra. He, at first, placed it among the Felinae, under 
the name of Felis Gracilis, but he was afterwards confirmed 
in his original intention of making it a distinct genus, 
under the name of Prionodon. The French naturalists, 
knowing no more of the animal, apparently, than is to be 
obtained from the description of Doctor Horsfield, and the 
short, previous, and doubtful allusion of General Hard- 
wick, have placed it, unhesitatingly, among the Viverrae, 
and, accordingly, we find it in M. Desmarest's catalogue, 
forming a species of Civet. 

Intermediate genera we have had frequent opportunities 
of noticing, and shall have frequent occasion to mention 
others, and they may be the more deserving of particular 
attention by the Zoologist, as affording matters of fact, 
from which important results may be elicited. The invio- 
lability of genera, on the one hand, and their gradual 
gradations on the other, are facts from which no very de- 
terminate conclusions have hitherto been drawn. Certain 
it is, that some one or more species of most genera exhibit 
a declination, as it were, to other very different animals, 
and when such facts are placed in conjunction with what we 
know of the tendency to varieties, from location, or what- 
ever other cause arising, the greater becomes the natural 
curiosity to ascertain the probable number of primary or- 
ganic creations, and the consequent number of those spring- 
ing from secondary causes : while, therefore, the utmost 
caution should be exercised, on the one hand, not to de- 
stroy the utility of zoological science by an undue multi- 


plication of names, it is equally necessary, on the other, 
to avoid a commixture of species essentially different, and 
separated, however slightly, yet effectually, by the hand of 
nature herself. 

In the number of toes on the hind feet, and of the teeth, 
as well as in the form of the head and body, the Delundung 
resembles the Viverrae, but the character of the claws, and 
peculiar structure of the teeth, indicate an affinity to the 
Felinae. Altogether, therefore, the animal is neither, and 
is properly separated from both. 

The Felinae and the Viverrae have the incisive teeth of 
the same number, and alike. In this the Delundung 
agrees with both, nor does there appear any essential dif- 
ference in respect to the canine teeth of the three. The 
Cats have three or four cheek-teeth above, and three below ; 
the Viverrae have six ; the Delundung differs from both, in 
having five above, and six below. The eye-pupil in the 
first genus is, in some species, circular, in others, oblong ; 
in the Viverrae it is elongated transversely, and in the 
Delundung it is circular. 

In the ears and form of the body, the former short and 
round, the latter long and low, the Delundung diverges 
from the Cats in approaching the Viverrae, and inthe number 
of toes the same thing occurs, the Felinae being pentadac- 
tylous before, and tetradactylous behind ; the Delundung 
and the Viverrae having five toes on all the feet. The cha- 
racter of the tongue, whether soft or aculeated, and the 
number and situation of the mammae, in the Delundung, 
are not known ; and the non-existence of an anal pouch, or 
anal folliculi, in the Delundung, is asserted, by its de- 
scriber, with a mark of doubt. 

The ground colour of the animal may be said to be a 
pale yellowish-white, but there are various large spots or 
patches of a rich deep-brown over the back, with smaller 
spots of the same size on the sides and thighs ; and the tail 


has nine annuli of the like colour, the tip being of the paler 

Dr. Horsfield found this animal in the district of Blam- 
bangan, in Java, nor could he ascertain that it was known 
in any other part of the island. It inhabits, though rarely, 
the extensive forests which cover this district. Of its par- 
ticular habits and manners, the natives could give but little 
information ; the Doctor obtained a second individual, 
which soon escaped, and he was never afterwards enabled 
to get another. 

If the Paradoxurus be placed with propriety in a distinct 
genus, there seems equal reason to do so with the Delun- 
dung, to which genus, as we before stated, the Doctor has 
given the name Prionodon, and he has added the specific 
epithet Gracilis, from its elegant appearance. 

We are inclined to suspect that there are other species 
of Viverrine Cats ; that figured in Daniel's Sketches of the 
native tribes, animals, fyc, of Southern Africa, pi. 36, 
if we may judge from the plate, has the appearance of it. 
Vosmaer's Chat Bizeam, and others, also, may eventually 
turn out to belong to this sub-division. 

We are now arrived at the genus Felis, the most promi- 
nent of this terrible order of animals, a genus more distinct 
and isolated, more obviously characterized to the eye of com- 
mon observation, and more easily defined by its systematic 
characters, than most others. A similarity in physical and 
moral character, nearly approaching to identity, prevails 
throughout almost all the species, from the dauntless Lion 
and ferocious Tiger, to their common domestic congener the 
Cat ; size and colour form their leading specific distinctions. 
It is true, indeed, that one species at least, and probably 
another or two, exhibit a slight approximation to the Dogs, 
whence they have been called Canine Cats ; and a similar 
aberration from the common type has also been observed 



in one or two species to the Weasel family, instances of 
partial exception to the above general observation. 

To avoid repetition, we shall not dilate generally on the 
physical characters of this genus, but merely in recapitula- 
tion of the text, remind the reader, that their bent trenchant 
retractile claws, drawn into a sheath, when inactive, and 
thus constantly preserved sharp for use, the small number 
and carnivorous character of their cheek-teeth, the number 
of their toes, five before, and four behind, their short 
muzzle, powerful jaws, and aculeated tongue, added to 
their moral character of natural ferocity, and appetite for a 
living prey, prevail in all the species. 

A more particular description, however, of the fourth or 
flat cheek-tooth, found in the upper jaw of some of the 
Felinae, may not be unacceptable, to which we shall, with 
all deference, add a few observations on the eye-pupil of 
the genus. 

In the upper jaw of most of the species is found a flat 
cheek-tooth, altogether differing from the rest, and which, 
from its singular shape, position, and apparent office, we 
should be inclined to call an auxiliary tooth. It is so 
situated as not to be seen, except by opening the mouth 
wide, and looking upwards. It does not protrude from the 
edge of the jaw, like the other teeth, but a little way up 
the inner inclined surface of it, and takes a direction across 
the lower part of the last carnivorous tooth. It is flat at 
the top, and seems to be intended as an anvil to receive the 
cutting edge of the large lobe of the last lower carnivorous 
tooth, so as to render it more available in acting on the 
food. From its situation in the mouth, it may easily escape 
observation; whence it is not unfrequently said, that 
the cats have only three cheek-teeth in each jaw. The 
second figure on the opposite plate is intended to show this 
auxiliary tooth. 
The pupil of the eye is in some species oval, and in others 


TiaiS'E'IHL ©2? TMIS F IS 2k IT 

?2»J2CI%?£ %\ ZJSi 

Ihe c7iee7c teeth in each jaw 
separately viewed. 


The situation of the fourth cheek- 
tooth in tlze upper iaw. 

■ , vu&m . ■■ ; /■/,.■■ '„ d /; i ■(■- & :: ' B. WPuttizka: ■ tept CzSaj- . 


circular. It is also capable of much alteration, not only in 
size, but also in figure, resulting from the degree of light 
acting upon it, and occasionally from some sudden mental 
impulse, so as to be sometimes round, sometimes oval, and 
sometimes a mere vertical line in the same animal. 

There are some positions so universally considered as 
true, that no one ever thinks of doubting them ; and it is, 
indeed, on such, that all reasoning must be grounded : but 
we cannot be over scrupulous in admitting, or too nice in 
investigating any proposition, before it is classed with those 
fundamental axioms as self-evident, and therefore not re- 
quiring to be demonstrated. 

That the pupils of Cats are oval, and that therefore they 
are enabled to see in the dark, is an assertion very generally 
made, and seldom questioned ; and some naturalists, ob- 
serving that the felinae vary in this particular among them- 
selves, have separated them into diurnal and nocturnal 
species ; distinguishing the former by the circular pupil, 
and the latter by that of an oval figure. It may, neverthe- 
less, be doubted, whether the shape of the eye-pupil be at 
all connected with the extent of the power of vision : the 
size of it must, in all probability, be materially so ; but it 
does not appear certain, that those animals which dilate 
the iris, so as to elongate the pupil, have also the greatest 
power of contracting the former, and consequently of en- 
larging the latter, more than others which have the pupil 
at all times circular. 

Major Smith has observed, on this subject, that the disk- 
ous or circular eye-pupil is believed to be diurnal, and the 
Lion and Tiger are both, in general, associated together on 
this account ; but the Lion, although he sees by day, may 
be said, probably, never to hunt his prey while the sun is 
above the horizon, unless pressed in an extraordinary de- 
gree. The pupil of his eye is also at all times circular, and 
always of a yellowish colour. The Tiger, on the contrary, 


will seek his prey by day and by night ; and his eye-pupil 
is capable of either shape, and in the twilight or dark, its 
colour is like a blue-green flame. This remark he made, 
while drawing a specimen of a large Bengal Tiger at New 
York. The room of the menagerie in which it was placed 
was generally rather dark, and at the time was rendered 
more so by the gloominess of the weather. The animal was 
exceedingly vicious, endeavouring, occasionally, to strike 
his keeper ; yet he lay in a stately, and, seemingly, uncon- 
cerned attitude, with the cleft pupils of his eyes fixed upon 
the Major while drawing: but if a person passed near him, 
they were changed instantly into a disk, and their colour 
altered from yellow-green to blue-green. To this facility 
of expansion and contraction of the pupils, which, in this 
instance, resulted from a mental excitement, and not from 
any alteration in the degree of light, may be attributed the 
diurnal habits of the Tiger, as also his disregard of night- 
fires ; while the Lion, whose eyes are not calculated for the 
glare of day, cannot bear the effect of firelight in the dark. 

The Puma has the pupil constantly circular ; yet this 
animal is as dangerous by day as by night ; or, to speak 
more correctly, he will hunt his prey while the sun is above 
the horizon. 

Of the Lynxes that are found in the United States, that 
called by the furriers the Chat Cervier, has complete Cats' 
eyes ; while the Felis Canadensis, which is so nearly allied to 
it, as at most to be a mere variety, has round pupils, yet 
the habits of both are similar. 

The Angora Cat, when in little light, has the eye-pupils 
nearly, if not quite circular ; they form an ellipsis more and 
more narrow as the light increases, till when exposed to the 
sun they are almost linear. 

If we refer to other genera, we find considerable variety 
in this particular. To select a few : the genus canis has 
some species with circular, and others with oval pupils ; 


the Hyaenas have them extremely narrow ; the Zibet, Civet, 
and Genet, have the pupils elongated transversely ; the 
Ichneumons and Caffrarian Weasel have them like the Cat ; 
and yet, perhaps, none of these are more particularly noc- 
turnal than the rest of the carnivora, all of which appear to 
prefer the twilight or night for their predatory excursions. 
The cloven-footed animals, the Horse, and the Whale, have 
transverse elliptical pupils ; and the frugiverous sort, as the 
Lemurs, Squirrels, and Loris, have them much larger than 
any other animals, but always circular ; in the genus Del- 
phinus it assumes the figure of a heart ; in the Todes it is 
triangular ; and in the Alligators and Sharks it is lozenge- 

If, then, it be considered, that the Lion has round eye- 
pupils, though it is generally inactive by day, and hunts prin- 
cipally after sunset ; that the pupils of the Tiger assume 
either shape, and that it is equally active day and night ; 
that the Puma, like the Tiger, is equally disposed for action 
at all times, though its eye-pupils, unlike those of that ani- 
mal, are always circular ; that one Lynx has the pupils 
changeable as to shape, while the other has them only vary- 
ing in size, and that both their habits accord ; and lastly, 
that the common Cat, which has the pupils varying greatly 
in shape, though we know it sees with little light, seems to 
possess in the day a vision as perfect as those animals which 
merely increase or decrease the size of the pupil, though 
it continues always round ; — we seem led to a probable con- 
clusion, that there is a fallacy in adopting the form of the 
pupil as a physical characteristic of the disposition and 
habits of the animal. 

The eyes of Cats and of some other animals are frequently 
much illuminated with a prismatic sort of light in obscurity. 
On this subject, says Sir Everard Home, there are two 
opinions ; one, that the external light only is reflected, and 
the other, that light is generated in the eye. 

Professor Bohn, at Leipsic, made experiments, which 


proved, that when the external light is wholly excluded, 
none can be seen in the Cat's eye. The truth of the results 
was readily ascertained ; it therefore only remained to 
determine, whether the external light is of itself capable 
of producing so great a degree of illumination : this was 
attended with difficulty ; for, when the apartment is dark- 
ened, and nothing but the light from the Cat's eye seen, the 
animal, by change of posture, may immediately deprive the 
observer of all light from that source. 

This was found to be the case, whether the common Cat, 
the Tiger, or the Hyaena, was the subject of the experiment. 
On the other hand, when the light in the room is sufficient 
for the animal to be seen, the light in the eye is obscured, 
and appears to arise from the iris. 

As these difficulties occurred in making experiments on 
the living eye, others were made immediately after death, 
and it was found, that a strong light thrown upon the cor- 
nea illuminated the eye, as in the living animal, but when 
the cornea was removed, the illumination disappeared. 
The iris was then dissected off, and the tapetum lucidum 
completely exposed to view, the reflection from which was 
extremely bright ; the retina proving no obstruction to the 
rays of light, but appearing equally transparent with the 
lens and vitreous humour. 

These experiments prove, that no light is generated in 
the eye, the illumination being wholly produced by the ex- 
ternal rays of light collected in the concave bright-coloured 
surface of the tapetum, after having been concentrated by 
the cornea and crystalline lens, and then reflected through 
the pupil. When the iris is completely open, the light is 
the greatest, but when the iris is contracted, the illumina- 
tion is more obscure. 

The influence, if any, the animal has over this luminous 
appearance, depends on the action of the iris : when it is 
shut, no light is seen; when the animal is alarmed, the eye 
glares, the iris being opened. 



A very prevailing, if not a generic character, distinguishes 
a large proportion of the Felinae, — which is, a white spot on 
the back of the ears. Those that are uniform in colour, as 
the Lion, the Puma, and the black species, as well as the 
common varieties of the domestic Cat, seem to be without 
it ; but it is certainly to be found in the Tiger, Panther, 
Jaguar, Ounce, Hunting Leopards, Ocelots, Lynxes, and 
several others. In the spotted species, a black bar across 
the chest seems equally prevalent. 

It might well be presumed, that the natural history of 
a genus of animals playing so conspicuous a part on the 
theatre of life as the Felinae, would be by this time clearly 
known, and the species accurately defined ; but such a con- 
clusion would be very wide of truth. The Baron Cuvier 
commences his learned observations on the species of the 
Cats, to be found in the fourth volume of his Fossil Oste- 
ology, from which we shall extract largely in the present 
essay, by observing " that the large Carnivora with retrac- 
tile claws, and spotted fur, have been for a long time the 
torment of naturalists, by the difficulty in distinguishing 
with precision their several species." Some of the species 
are certainly sufficiently notorious, as the Lion, the Tiger, 
fyc. ; others are known to zoologists, principally by specific 
descriptions, which sometimes seems to agree, and some- 
times to vary, as different types successively come to light, 
as the Panther, Leopard, the little group of Ocelots, Servals, 
fyc. ; and many more, hitherto hidden from the eye of critical 
examination, exist to the scientific world, at least, only in 
the pages of voyages and travels : these, though named and 
described, are properly mere candidates for insertion in 
systematic catalogues, rather than recognised species. Such, 
however, according to our plan, will be noticed either here 
or in the table, with the exception only of those that are 
clearly negatived ; and as the authorities for their insertion 
will be given with them, the reader will sit in judgment 
Vol, II. 2 G 


upon their admissibility. Our own collection of drawings 
would also furnish us with figures of many apparently new 
species, a small selection from which will be engraved and 

They may be divided into small groups by certain pecu- 
liarities of colour ; the first of these groups includes the 
single-coloured uniform large species, and includes only the 
Lion and the Puma. 

The superior bodily powers possessed by the Lion, joined 
to his carnivorous regimen and consequent predacious ha- 
bits, while they place him at the head of the beasts of prey, 
and make him also the undisputed tyrant and universal 
dread of the plains and forests, point obviously to the si- 
tuation in which he must be regarded as the first and most 
important species of the carnivora. 

Verbal description, or even the best of figures, will convey 
but a very inadequate notion of this tremendous animal. 
The rhetorician and the painter alike fail in describing and 
depicting the terrific work of nature exhibited in this king 
of beasts. 

The specific characters are thus given by our author, " a 
large Yellow Cat, with tufted tail, the neck of the adult 
male furnished with a thick mane." These vary in slight 
degrees, as we shall notice presently. If the ancients had 
any authority in nature for the male Lion without a mane, 
sometimes figured in their statuary, the species is lost, or 
at least unknown to modern research *. 

* Major Smith was lately informed by Professor Kretschmen of 
Frankfort, that he was in expectation of receiving from Nubia the 
skin and jaws of a new species of Cat, larger than the Lion, of a 
brownish colour, and without mane. The invoice of the articles 
from Cairo was already received, but the objects themselves were 
not arrived. This will probably, says the Major, prove to be the 
maneless Lion of the ancients, known to them by their acquaint- 
ance with Upper Egypt; and not unfrequently observed in the 
hieroglyphic sculptures of that country. 


The period of gestation of the Lioness is about one hun- 
dred and eight days, and the young, when first born, are 
very small in proportion to their adult size. They arrive 
at maturity in about five years, and are then nearly eight 
feet in the length of the body, with a tail of about four feet. 
If we judge from the length of their nonage, and from their 
size and general constitution, as observed by Buffbn, it 
should seem probable, that the average life of this animal 
does not exceed twenty-five years ; though it has been said, 
that some have been kept in a state of confinement for 
nearly three times this period. The mane appears to in- 
crease as the Lion advances in age, and not to depend for 
its growth on that of the animal. The female is without it 
altogether. The Lion laps in drinking, but turns the tongue 
downwards, contrarywise to the Dog. 

It seems needless to enter into any general description of 
an animal so well known. We shall only therefore, in 
reference to its organs of sense, observe, that the pupil of 
the eye is circular ; the external ear small, rounded with a 
lobule on the outer edge like that of the common Cat. 
Their other organs of sense in common with those of loco- 
motion and generation, the peculiar retractibility of the 
claws, and system of dentition, correspond also with the 
Domestic Cat. 

When young, the Lion has no trace of the mane or of the 
tuft at the end of the tail. These appear at about three 
years old. The hair of their body is then partially curled 
and tufted, and not smooth as in the adult state of the 
animal. It is remarkable also, that when young, they 
have a dark dorsal line, together with several transverse 
parallel dark stripes and faint spots, which give them the 
appearance, to an inexperienced eye, of being young Tigers. 
They are born with the eyes open, but the external ear is 
semipendant and does not become erect for two months. 

2 G 2 


The talons also do not attain their retractile power till the 
animal is nearly a year and a half old. At about a year old 
the canine teeth appear, a period very frequently fatal to 
the young, at least to those born in confinement. 

The characters of the Lion and the Tiger have been of 
late considered as perfectly similar. This assertion, con- 
tradicted by the ancients and early moderns, has wholly 
arisen from some remarks made by travellers to the Cape. 
No doubt, where similar appetites, similar propensities, 
similar means, and similar circumstances occur, a great 
similarity of character must be found. Although indivi- 
duals are observed to be more undaunted and ferocious, in 
proportion to the increased distance at which they may be 
found from the habitations of mankind, more especially the 
civilized races, yet the Lion, we should submit, when com- 
pared with the Tiger, is a noble animal ; he possesses more 
confidence, and more real courage ; he likewise differs in 
his permanent attachment to his mate, and protection of 
his young ; while the Tiger shows no partiality beyond the 
period of heat in the female, and is himself frequently the 
first and greatest enemy to his own offspring. The former 
of these traits of character is substantiated by a great variety 
of authors and testimonies, and denied only by the assertion 
of the colonists of the Cape, who report that the Lion, when 
he fancies himself unperceived, will flee from the hunters ; 
but it must be remembered, that the Lion is generally pur- 
sued by day, and it is probable that he bears the glare of 
an African sun, reflected from a sandy soil, with great in- 
convenience. It is, therefore, as unjust to tax this animal 
with cowardice, because he wishes to avoid a contest, at a 
period when his sight is much deteriorated, as it would be 
to rate the hunter for his timidity, because he will not chase 
the Lion in the dark. 

Major Smith has met with eleven instances of different 


Lions, which have protected and fostered Dogs, and but a 
single one of the Tiger exhibiting a similar kindness of 

In a state of confinement, they have frequently shown un- 
equivocal marks of gratitude and affection toward their 
feeder and keeper, as in the case mentioned by Seneca, of 
which he was personally witness, of a Lion, to whom a 
man, who had formerly been his keeper, was exposed for 
destruction in the amphitheatre at Rome, and who was not 
only instantly recognised, but defended and protected by the 
grateful beast. Indeed, those animals which are exhibited 
as public shows, when they have been for some time accus- 
tomed to restraint, will, in general, not only become obe- 
dient to their feeder and keeper, but even show a consider- 
able degree of liking toward him, though, in such cases, it 
is necessary for the man to exercise caution and discretion, 
and not to expose himself to the animal when feeding, or 
when its irritability is at all excited. 

The keeper of a Lion, which was exhibited about the 
country, at fairs, a few years ago, was in the habit of put- 
ting his head into the mouth of the beast, having previously 
put on a worsted cap, to defend himself from being lace- 
rated by the animal's tongue ; and Major Smith has seen a 
young man stand upon a lioness, drag her round the cage 
by the tail, open her jaws, and thrust his head between her 

" A keeper of wild beasts, at New York," says the Major, 
" had provided himself, on the approach of winter, with a 
fur cap. The novelty of this costume attracted the notice 
of the Lion, which, making a sudden grapple, tore the cap 
off his head, as he passed the cage ; but perceiving that 
the keeper was the person whose head he had thus un- 
covered, he immediately laid down. The same animal once, 
hearing some noise under its cage, passed its paw through 
the bar, and actually hauled up the keeper, who was clean- 


ing beneath ; but as soon as he perceived he had thus ill- 
used his master, he instantly laid down upon his back, in 
an attitude of complete submission." 

The Lion, while feeding, will exhibit a more disinterested 
courage than most of the Carnivora. When the prey is 
thrown to him at one corner of the cage, and the keeper 
holds up a stick at the bars of the opposite side, the ani- 
mal will instantly quit his food to attack the disturber of 
his meal ; but if the same thing be done to the Tiger, he 
will lie close upon his food, snort, give shrill barkings, and, 
at most, just rise to fly at the stick, and then drop upon 
his meat again." 

Unlike some of the carnivorous animals, which appear to 
derive a gratification from the destruction of animal life 
beyond the mere administering to the cravings of appetite, 
the Lion, when once satiated, ceases to be an enemy. 
Hence very different accounts are given by travellers of the 
generosity or cruelty of its nature, which result, in all pro- 
bability, from the difference in time and circumstances, or 
degree of hunger, which the individual experienced when 
the observations were made upon it. There are, certainly, 
many instances of a traveller having met with a Lion in 
the forest during day, 

Who g-lared upon him, and went surly by, 
Without annoying him ; 

but when urged by want, this tremendous animal is as 
fearless as he is powerful ; though in a state of confinement, 
or when not exposed to the extremity of hunger, he gene- 
rally exhibits tokens of a more tender feeling than is to be 
met with in the Tiger, and most of the Felinae. 

The effect of the voice of the Lion, to be properly felt, 
must be heard. During sexual excitement, its noise is 
perfectly appalling, and produces on the mind of the by- 
stander, however secure he may feel himself, that awful 


admiration commonly experienced by us on witnessing 
any of the grand and tremendous operations of nature. 
When in the act of seizing his prey in a natural state, the 
deep thundering tone of the roar is heightened into a horrid 
scream, which accompanies the fatal leap on the unhappy 
victim. This power of voice is said to be useful to the ani- 
mal in hunting, as the weaker sort, appalled by it, flee 
from their hiding-places, in which alone they might find se- 
curity, as the Lion does not hunt by scent, and seek for it 
in ineffectual flight, which generally exposes them to the 
sight of their enemy, and, consequently, to certain death. 

The Lion is capable of carrying off, with ease, a horse, a 
heifer, or a buffalo. The mode of its attack is generally 
by surprise, approaching slowly and silently, till within a 
leap of the predestined animal, on which it then springs, 
or throws itself with a force, which is thought, in general, 
to deprive its victim of life before the teeth are employed. 
It is said, this blow will divide the spine of a horse, and 
that the power of its teeth and jaws will break the largest 

The Asiatic variety of the Lion is of a uniform yellow- 
colour. The mane, which is more scanty than in the Afri- 
can variety, is also entirely yellow. In physiognomy, as 
well as character, they seem to agree, but the Asiatic is 
rather the smaller of the two. 

The existence of the Lion in south-eastern Asia has not 
been long ascertained. Two young officers of the 8th 
light dragoons, during one of the campaigns in India, 
when out one morning on a hunting excursion, and having 
quitted their Elephants, were walking near a jungle ; one 
who was more experienced in the country than his compa- 
nion, suddenly observed a recent track, of what he took to 
be a Tiger ; instantly looking back towards the jungle, they 
hastened forward in the direction of it, and in the middle 
of a field, found the mangled remains of aNyl-ghau, (Anti- 
lope picta et Trago Camelus). They were surprised to ob- 


serve no less than three distinct tracks, all leading to the 
prey, but from different parts of the jungle, and justly 
concluded that there were more than one of these fierce 
animals near them. While returning to their Elephant 
and their party, among whom was one of the gentlemen 
who have charge of the Elephants belonging to the East India 
Company, they were astonished to see a Lion come out to 
the edge of the jungle, open his jaws, and stretch himself, 
and then coolly return into the cover. Having mounted 
their Elephant, a large female, they proceeded into the 
jungle, with more courage than wisdom ; but they had 
scarcely advanced a few yards, when the Lion sprang at 
them, and the Elephant, wheeling round, fled to the plain, 
but with a severe wound in the hough. The next day, a 
regular hunting party, with a considerable force of Ele- 
phants, was mustered, and when the line was formed, the 
half-hamstrung Elephant, trembling with anxiety, and 
giving proofs of her extreme uneasiness, was yet so keen 
as to be always her whole length before the others in the 
clearing of the jungle *. Before night, three Lions were 
killed, and thus, for the first time, probably, the presence 
of the Lion in India was satisfactorily established. 

The distinctness of the two varieties may be inferred 
from this circumstance, that a Lioness of the Asiatic breed, 
which was in Exeter ""Change, was frequently offered to the 
African Lion, which is also kept there, and was constantly 
refused, while his attachment still remains unaltered for 
the Lioness of his own country, in the same menagerie, 
which has produced several litters, the fruits of their inter- 
course. Major Smith has known two other instances of 
the same kind. 

There is also a South-African variety of the species, 
with the mane nearly black ; and if the specimen, lately in 

* This was, probably, from a desire of vengeance in the saga- 
cious animal, which continued lame, and was afterwards sold at a 
considerable loss. 


Exeter 'Change, be considered as an ordinary type of this 
variety, the head and muzzle are broader and more like 
those of the Bull-dog ; the under jaw more projecting ; the 
ears larger, more acuminated, and blacker in this than in 
the more ordinary breed. 

The noxious animals yield, if not to the physical, at least 
to the intellectual powers of man, and, accordingly, their 
decrease, either generally or locally, may be observed to ac- 
cord with the progress of refinement in human life. The 
Baron has, with much learning and research, accumulated 
instances of the existence of Lions in parts where they are 
no longer indigenous, and of their former great abundance 
in countries where they are now but partially known. 

" It is true," says he, " that the species has disappeared 
from a great number of places where it was formerly found, 
and that it has diminished in an extraordinary degree 

Herodotus relates that the Camels which carried the bag- 
gage of the army of Xerxes were attacked by Lions, in the 
country of the Pseonians, in Macedonia ; and also, that 
there were many Lions in the mountains between the river 
Nestus, in Thrace, and the Archelous, which waters Arca- 
nania. Aristotle repeats the same, as a fact, in his time. 
Pausanias, who also relates the accident which befel the 
Camels of Xerxes, says further, that these Lions often de- 
scended into the plains at the foot of Olympus, between 
Macedonia and Thessaly. 

If we except some countries between India and Persia, 
and some parts of Arabia, Lions are now very rare in Asia. 
Anciently they were common. Besides those of Syria, often 
mentioned in Scripture, Armenia was pestered with them, 
according to Oppian. Apollonius of Tyan, saw near Babylon, 
a Lioness with eight young, and, in his time, they were com- 
mon between the Hyphasis and the Ganges. iElian mentions 
the Indian Lions, which were trained for the chase, remark- 



able for their magnitude, and the blackish tints of their 

That the species has become rare, in comparison with 
former times, even where it is now most abundant, may 
be sufficiently inferred from the Roman historian Pliny, 
who tells us, that Quintus Curtius was the first who ex- 
hibited many of them, at one time, in the Circus. Sylla 
caused one hundred, all males, to engage together, for the 
amusement of the people ; Pompey six hundred, of which one 
hundred and fifteen were males ; and Csesar, four hundred. 

The same abundance continued also under the first Em- 
perors ; Adrian often destroyed one hundred in the Circus ; 
Antonine, on one occasion, one hundred ; and Marcus Au- 
relius the like number on another. The latter exhibition 
Eutropius considers as particularly magnificent, whence the 
Baron infers, that the number of the species was then di- 
minishing, though Gordian the Third had seventy, which 
were trained ; and Probus, who possessed a most extensive 
menagerie, had one hundred of either sex. 

A great deal of interesting matter might be added on the 
subject of this species, which our need of brevity obliges 
us to forego inserting. 

•The Puma (F. Concolor) is large, and uniformly yellow, 
without mane or tuft to the tail. It is placed next to the 
Lion, on account of its corresponding uniformity of colour. 
It is called, by the Mexicans, Mitzli; in Peru, Puma; in 
Brasil, Cuguaguarana, (the word Cougoua, is contracted 
by Buffon from this latter barbarous appellation;) and 
in Paraguay, Guazuara. The name by which it is most 
generally known is that of the American Lion ; so called 
from a distant similarity it bears to the Lion of the old 
world, in the uniformity of colour before alluded to. It 
seems the more necessary to advert to these synonymes, 
because the name Cougoua, by which it is most commonly 
known in Europe, particularly in France, appears, pro- 


bably, to have been borrowed from that proper to another 
animal *. The Linnaean epithets, Concolor and Discolor, 
have, likewise, no appropriate meaning ; but Puma is its 
native name. Its length, from the nose to the root of the 
tail, is about five feet ; and its height, from the bottom of 
the foot to the shoulder, twenty-six inches and a half; 
hence it is longer in the body and lower on the legs than 
the Lion, but it differs from that species more particularly 
in the shape of the head, which is small and round, and not 
square, as in F. Leo. 

D'Azara says this animal is less ferocious, and more easy 
to be killed than the Jaguar ; it lies concealed in the under- 
wood, and does not have recourse to caverns for shelter 
like the Jaguar. Unlike this animal also, the Puma ascends 
and descends the highest trees with celerity and ease, 
though it may be considered in general rather as an inha- 
bitant of the plains than of the forests. He states also 
that it is not known to attack a mant» or even a dog, but 
avoids both with great timidity. Its depredations are ge- 
nerally confined to quadrupeds of a middling size, as calves, 
sheep, fyc. ; but against these its ferocity is more insatiable 
than its appetite, destroying many at an attack, but carry- 
ing away perhaps only one. If it have more than sufficient 
for a meal, it will cover and conceal the residue for a se- 
cond repast ; in which it differs also from the Jaguar, 
which is not so provident. 

D'Azara possessed a tame Puma, which was as gentle as 
any Dog, but very inactive. It would play with any one ; 
and if an orange were presented to it, would strike it with 
the paw, push it away, and seize it again, in the manner 
of a Cat playing with a Mouse. It had all the manners of 

* See the Eira. 

t BufFon states that it will seize a Man if it find him sleeping, 
which Azara denies. 


a Cat, when engaged in surprising a bird, not excepting the 
agitation of the tail ; and purred when caressed like that 

An incident occurred a few years back, not far from New 
York, which seems to disprove the assertion of Molina and 
D'Azara, that the Puma will not attack a Man ; and while 
it shows the ferocity of the animal, evinces that its power 
is not much inferior to that of the Jaguar. Two hunters 
went out in quest of game on the Katskill mountains, in 
the province of New York, on the road from New York to 
Albany, each armed with a gun, and accompanied by his 
Dog. It was agreed between them, that they should go in 
contrary directions round the base of a hill, which formed 
one of the points in these mountains ; and that, if either 
discharged his piece, the other should cross the hill as ex- 
peditiously as possible, to join his companion in pursuit 
of the game shot at. Shortly after separating, one heard 
the other fire, and, agreeably to their compact, hastened to 
his comrade. After searching for him for some time with- 
out effect, he found his Dog dead and dreadfully torn. Ap- 
prised by this discovery that the animal shot at was large 
and ferocious, he became anxious for the fate of his friend, 
and assiduously continued the search for him ; when his 
eyes were suddenly directed, by the deep growl of a Puma, 
to the large branch of a tree, where he saw the animal 
couching on the body of the Man, and directing his eyes 
toward him, apparently hesitating whether to descend and 
make a fresh attack on the survivor, or to relinquish its 
prey and take to flight. Conscious that much depended on 
celerity, the hunter discharged his piece, and wounded the 
animal mortally, when it and the body of the Man fell to- 
gether from the tree. The surviving Dog then flew at the 
prostrate beast, but a single blow from its paw laid the 
Dog dead by its side. In this state of things, finding that 
his comrade was dead, and that there was still danger in 


approaching the wounded animal, the Man prudently re- 
tired, and with all haste brought several persons to the 
spot, where the unfortunate hunter, the Couguar, and both 
the Dogs, were all lying dead together *. 

D'Azara asserts, that the Jaguar cannot climb trees, but 
that the Puma can. The last anecdote sufficiently evinces 
that the latter can mount a tree ; but it seems probable, 
that it is accomplished rather by a vigorous bound in the 
first instance, than by absolute climbing. 

Major Smith witnessed an extraordinary instance of the 
abstracted ferocity of this animal, when engaged with its 
food. A Puma, which had been taken and was confined, 
was ordered to be shot, which was done immediately after 
the animal had received its food : the first ball went through 
his body, and the only notice he took of it was by a shrill 
growl, doubling his efforts to devour his food, which he ac- 
tually continued to swallow with quantities of his own 
blood till he fell. 

Notwithstanding such instances of the violence of dispo- 
sition of this animal, it is very easy to be tamed. The same 
gentleman saw another individual that was led about with 
a chain, carried in a waggon, lying under the seat upon 
which his keeper sat, and fed by flinging a piece of meat 
into a tree, when his chain was coiled round his neck, and 
he was desired to fetch it down ; an act which he performed 
in two or three bounds, with surprising ease and docility. 

A tame Puma, which died recently, was some time in the 
possession of Mr. Kean, the actor. It was quite docile and 
gentle. After the death of this animal, it was discovered 
that a musket-ball, in all probability, had injured its skull, 
which was not known in its lifetime. 

* This incident was related to Major Smith by Mr. Skudder, the 
proprietor of the Museum at New York, where the animal was pre- 
served after death as a memorial of the story. 

440 class mammalia. 

Many of the actions and manners of the Jaguar and 
Puma have been confounded by different describers. It 
may perhaps be observed generally, that the Puma is of the 
most cruel and sanguinary disposition in a state of nature, 
though easy to be tamed; but is inferior to the Jaguar in 
bodily powers, and still more in energy and courage. 

Though this species is found from Patagonia to Cali- 
fornia, the Baron has not been able to ascertain any here- 
ditary varieties. Some individuals indeed seem of a deeper 
colour, and others exhibit indications of spots, the colour in 
places being more opaque in certain angles of light; but 
such may be attributable to age, sex, or circumstances, and 
not probably to actual varieties. 

The Black Tiger of Laborde is erroneously applied, ac- 
cording to Cuvier, to a Black Couguar, by Button, the 
existence of which he doubts. 

In arranging the various species of Felinse into groups, the 
Bengal or Royal Tiger will be found nearly isolated. He is 
easily distinguished from all other species by his transverse 
dark stripes. Compared with the Lion, he is thinner and 
lighter, and has the head rounder. The upper part of the 
body is yellow, the under part white. The whole internal 
face of the ears, and a spot on the external surface round 
and over the eyes, the end of the muzzle, cheeks, throat, 
neck, chest, belly, and internal sides of the limbs are 
white ; and the tail is annulated with black on a whitish- 
yellow ground. The eye-pupils are generally said to be 
round, and indeed we have never observed it otherwise ; 
but in the instance already mentioned, witnessed by Major 
Smith, they assumed an elliptical figure. The black bands 
are extremely irregular, and vary in different individuals. 
We shall not describe its person further, but merely refer 
to our figure of a specimen lately at Exeter'Change. 

Beneficence, however capriciously exercised, may be said 
occasionally to exhibit itself in the lion ; but the ferocious 



character of the Tiger, in its natural state, presents no such 
palliation. When its appetite is satisfied, the former seems 
no longer delighted with blood ; but butchery appears to 
afford gratification to the latter, even after its hunger has 
been satiated. 

This animal is the scourge of Asia and the Indian Islands. 
Equal to the Lion in stature, though generally inferior in 
strength, it wants not courage and ferocity to attack that 
animal; but although the combat is sometimes furious, it 
generally falls a victim to its temerity in so doing, unless 
some disparity of age or other circumstance should bring 
the strength and power of the two animals more to a level. 
Its swiftness and strength enable it to seize a man while on 
horseback, and to drag, or rather to carry him in its mouth 
by bounds and leaps into a jungle or forest, in spite of all 
efforts to prevent it, short of musket-balls : indeed, the 
weight of a man, or even of a more ponderous animal, in 
its mouth, does not appear to incommode or delay the or- 
dinary swiftness of the beast. 

Mr. Marsden informs us, that the Tigers in Sumatra 
prove to the inhabitants there, both in their journeys and 
even their domestic occupations, most fatal and destructive 
enemies. The number of people usually slain by these ra- 
pacious tyrants of the woods is almost incredible. Whole 
villages are sometimes depopulated by them. Yet from a 
a superstitious prejudice, it is with difficulty they are pre- 
vailed upon, by a large reward which the India Company 
offers, to use methods of destroying them, till they have 
sustained some particular injury in their own family or 
kindred, and their ideas of fatalism contribute to render 
them insensible to the risk. Their traps, of which they can 
make a variety, are very ingeniously contrived. Sometimes 
they are in the nature of strong cages, with falling doors, 
into which the beast is enticed by a goat or dog enclosed 
as a bait. Sometimes they manage so that a large beam is 


made to fall in a groove across the Tiger's back; at other 
times it is noosed about the loins with strong ratans, or led 
to ascend a plank nearly balanced, which, turning when it 
has passed the centre, lets the animal fall upon sharp stakes 
prepared below. Instances have occured of a Tiger being 
caught by one of the former modes, which had many marks 
in its body of the partial success of this last expedient. 
The Tigers of Sumatra are very large and strong. They 
are said to break the leg of a Horse or Buffalo with a 
stroke of the fore-paw, and the largest prey they kill is, 
without difficulty, dragged by them into the woods. This 
they usually perform on the second night, being supposed 
on the first to gratify themselves with sucking the blood 
only. Time is by this delay afforded to prepare for their 
destruction ; and to the methods already enumerated, be- 
sides shooting them, may be added that of placing a vessel 
of water strongly impregnated with arsenic near the car- 
cass, which is fastened to a tree, to prevent its being car- 
ried off. The Tiger having satiated itself with the flesh, 
is prompted to assuage its thirst with the tempting liquor 
at hand, and perishes in the indulgence. 

Buffon's assertion, however, that the nature of the Tiger 
is perfectly incapable of improvement, is rather too strong, 
as many instances have evinced since the time that Buffon 
wrote. A full-grown Tiger was lately in the possession of 
some of the natives at Madras, who exhibited it held 
merely by a chain ; it was indeed kept muzzled, except 
when it was allowed (which was occasionally done) to make 
an attack on some animal, in order to exhibit the mode of 
its manoeuvring in quest of prey. For the purpose of this 
exhibition, a sheep in general was fastened by a cord to a 
stake, and the Tiger being brought in sight of it, imme- 
diately crouched, and moving almost on its belly, but slowly 
and cautiously, till within the distance of a spring from the 
animal, leapt upon and struck it down almost instantly 


dead, seizing it at the same moment by the throat with its 
teeth ; the Tiger would then roll round on its back, holding 
the sheep on its breast, and fixing the hind claws near the 
throat of the animal, would kick or push them suddenly 
backwards, and tear it open in an instant. Notwithstand- 
ing, however, the natural ferocity of these animals in ge- 
neral, the individual in question was so far in subjection, 
that while one keeper held its chain during this bloody 
exhibition, another was enabled to get the carcass of the 
sheep away by throwing down a piece of meat previously 
ready for the purpose. 

Three specimens in the Museum at Paris became ex- 
tremely tame, and Mr. Cross has had instances of Tigers, 
taken quite young, and bred up in a state of confinement, 
exhibiting nearly as much gentleness as the Lion under 
similar circumstances ; by showing attachment to their 
keeper, and, in one instance, to a Dog, which was ex- 
posed to one of them ; so that their nature appears, in 
some degree, capable of training and education ; and the 
furious character attributed to the Tiger must be con- 
sidered as applicable to it only in a wild and unfettered 

But however the disposition of the Tiger when in con- 
finement may yield to judicious treatment, it is very different 
in a state of nature, and may be deemed a sanguivorous 
animal, as it sucks the blood of its victim previously to 
tearing or eating it; and, after having so done with one 
animal, will leave the carcass and seize on any other that 
may come in sight, suck the blood of this also with the 
most horrid avidity, which will induce it almost to bury its 
face and head in the body of its prey. We are, therefore, 
not disposed to palliate its natural ferocity, but only to give 
it credit for its capability of improvement. 

Tigers' skins vary as to the number of stripes and bright- 
ness of the colours, which latter abates in some degree when 

Vor,. II. 2 H 


the animal is living under restraint, and much more when 
a skin is dried and prepared for commercial purposes. 

The Tigress is pregnant about fourteen weeks, produces 
four or five at a time, and has been known to breed when 
confined. When first born, the young do not exceed the 
size of a Kitten about three months old. They are of a 
pale-gray colour with obscure dusky transverse bars, like 
those proper to the Lion of the same age. 

A white variety of the Tiger is sometimes seen, with the 
stripes very opaque, and not to be observed except in cer- 
tain angles of light. We have engraved from a specimen 
of this variety, formerly in Exeter 'Change. 

We have already had occasion to offer a few observations 
on the production of mules, considered quite independently 
of the standing mystery of fecundation. The instance 
quoted was that of a breed between the Common Chacal 
and the species or variety of Senegal. We have at this 
place to notice a similar reproduction between two species 
of a more prominent character on the great theatre of life, 
between, in fact, the two tyrants of the world — the African 
Lion and the Asiatic Tiger. 

The recent discoveries of intermediate genera, discove- 
ries resulting principally from the superior degree of atten- 
tion lately paid to comparative anatomy, have puzzled and 
confused the strict systematic zoologists. The small portion 
of the animal kingdom contemplated in the previous pages, 
has furnished several instances of these intermediate animals 
partaking, in many points of character and peculiarities, 
of distant and strongly-marked genera. It has also fur- 
nished ample proofs of the effects of secondary causes on 
animal organization, and demonstrated that all the varieties 
of animated nature before us are not the result of distinct 
acts of original creation, but are, in fact, from time to time, 
springing up before our eyes. 

Few branches of natural knowledge are more obscure 
t.han the excitements to these modifications of animals. 

H b"S 


The subject is one of legitimate inquiry, though it has hi- 
therto almost entirely eluded demonstration ; we may still 
therefore venture to hope, that as we improve in detecting 
many of the modes of action of nature in her wonderful 
operations, we may eventually arrive at some partial in- 
sight into the principles to which she seems subjected, or, 
in other words, the secondary causes which induce the phe- 
nomena in question. 

The point more particularly intended in relation to the 
subject before us is, whether the interfecundity of animals 
differing generically, in the artificial language of zoologists, 
has ever produced a third permanent distinct genus, and 
whether the like interfecundity of animals differing specifi- 
cally, in the same artificial language, has ever produced a 
third permanent distinct species, so as in fact to account 
for the origin of any or many of the creatures around us. 

It seems very difficult to conclude that the race of every 
genus and species originated in a distinct act of creation, 
especially as we know their varieties do not ; and however 
we may amuse ourselves and puzzle others with attempted 
definitions of genus, species, and variety, we must remem- 
ber that these distinctions are of man's making, not of 
nature's, whose works are so interlinked together, as by no 
means, in all points, to conform, to artificial separation and 
arrangement. These reflections are not intended to preju- 
dice the utility of zoological systems in the assistance they 
afford to our limited faculties ; they merely point to the 
impossibility of separating, by strong distinct lines of de- 
markation, the varied creatures of the earth, which appear 
to us to be interlaced and linked together like the meshes 
of a piece of network, though not like it in regard to the 
regularity of the points of contact. 

If this position be correct, if, in fact, one species of a 
given group of animals be found to approximate to the phy- 
sical characters of another group, on the one hand, and a 

2 H 2 


second species be found assimilated to a third group, on 
the other, so that in fact all organization, including both 
the animal and vegetable kingdom, be irregularly reticu- 
lated together, we seem naturally led to the inquiry whe- 
ther these assimilated individuals have ever reproduced a 
third race differing from both, and the zoological cata- 
logue has been thus enlarged, and to what extent. 

Although we by no means intend to enter into the dis- 
cussion of a subject of this nature, but merely to allude to 
it en passant, it may be proper not to quit it precipitately 
without adverting to the ordinary-admitted conditions of 
hybrid animals. 

Sterility seems one of the most determined of these con- 
ditions. It appears to be the mean employed by nature to 
prevent the very effects to which we have just ventured to 
allude, and if universal in its application, must at once put 
an end to the possibility of factitious races springing from 
these unnatural intercourses. 

It is from the domesticated or tamed races that we prin- 
cipally draw our facts upon this subject. Those specifi- 
cally different, as the Horse and Ass, being the most fami- 
liar to us, produce the ordinary Mule, which is steril in 
effect, though it may occasionally produce offspring ; for 
even then such offspring is found to degenerate from its 
parent, and to be perfectly incapable of reproduction. But 
the events of the sequestered forest and trackless wilder- 
ness are less easy of detection. In relation to these, we 
must be content with few facts and many analogies. 

The course of reproduction of the larger Felinse has, of 
late years, been frequently open to observation in the me- 
nageries, and one cannot but feel some surprise that the 
breeding these animals in a state of confinement should be 
comparatively matter of modern experiment only. We 
have now not only instances of these animals breeding in 
the ordinary manner, but we have instances of varieties so 





distant as to be inserted in zoological catalogues as spe- 
cifically different, which have reproduced, and in the in- 
stance we are more particularly about to notice, of a 
breed between two decidedly different species, the Lion and 
the Tiger. 

Mr. Cross, at Exeter 'Change during the few years he 
has possessed that establishment, has bred twenty-one 
Lions, six Tigers, four Jaguars, and four Leopards. In the 
French menagerie they do not appear to have been so suc- 
cessful, though M. F. Cuvier gives us the particulars of 
some young Lions bred there with his usual interesting 

In addition to the instances already enumerated at Exeter 
'Change, Mr. Cross has succeeded twice in producing a 
cross breed among these animals. These were between the 
Black Leopard, generally treated as a distinct species, and 
the common African Leopard. The male was the black 
variety. Three or four individuals of this breed are still 
exhibiting about the country. 

The offspring of varieties are generally observed to par- 
take of a middle character, as (if we may be allowed to in- 
stance them here) in the human species. The Negro and 
the European produce an offspring as certainly partaking 
of the physical character of both as does the issue of pa- 
rents both of the same colour. If the offspring of these 
two varieties breed with either the black or the white, the 
product will still be certain, and will partake in its physical 
appearances and colour the same proportions of which it 
actually partakes in blood ; and again, if the offspring of 
the black and white continue to be united in succession to 
either pure black or pure white, it is not until after the 
fourth generation that the traces of the intermixture will 
be lost, as is evinced constantly in our West India settle- 

And so it is with the lower Mammalia. If a thorough 


bred Dog be crossed with a different variety, the conse- 
quences will be manifested in the offspring for several ge- 

But this did riot appear to be the case with the cubs bred 
between the black variety and the Common Leopard ; they 
were in all respects like the ordinary cubs of parents both 
of the common breed. 

But to return to our Lion Tiger-cubs. Mr. Atkins, an iti- 
nerant exhibiter, and dealer himself, bred the Lion, the father 
of these cubs. He was a very fine and very valuable beast, for 
his beauty and the docility of his disposition, the ferocity of 
which had never been entirely developed by natural habits. 
At the period in question, he was about four years old. 
The Tigress, the mother of the cubs, is supposed to be 
about four or five years old. She has been in Mr. Atkins's 
possession about two years, and was, probably, taken very 
young, as the gentleness of her disposition seems to evince. 

These two animals, ever since the arrival of the Tigress, 
have been confined in one den, and have always agreed well 
together. From the beginning of their being so placed, 
there had been frequent possibility of issue, though the 
first, consisting of a litter of three cubs, was not born till the 
17th of October, 1824, the result of a more particular in- 
tercourse, which lasted ten or twelve days, in the beginning 
of the previous July. They were born at Windsor, and 
were shortly afterwards honoured by a visit from his Ma- 
jesty. The Lion, unfortunately, died about six weeks 

The cubs were taken from the Tigress immediately after 
birth, and were fostered by several bitches and a Goat ; 
they are all alive, and promise, at present, to attain ma- 

In regard to their personal appearance, we feel con- 
strained, after what has been already said, to be very brief 
in our descriptions, an omission, however, we hope to com- 


pensate by the figures. These show them at three months 
old, and we have added figures of the young, both of Lions 
and Tigers, that they may be compared with this singular 

The young of the Lion are calculated to deceive an in- 
experienced observer, from the fact of their being striped 
transversely, so as to induce the opinion, at first sight, that 
they rather belong to the Tiger, and, in this respect, the 
cubs in question agreed with those of the Lion. In the 
young Lions, however, these stripes soon become obliterated, 
but in those before us, they appear to be getting more de- 
cided and permanent, and, in fact, to be assuming the perma- 
nent Tigrine character. Our Mules, in common with ordi- 
nary Lions, were born without any traces of a mane, or of 
a tuft at the end of the tail. Their fur, in general, was 
rather woolly ; the external ear was pendant toward the 
extremity ; the nails were constantly out, and not cased in 
the sheath ; and, in these particulars, they agreed with the 
common cubs of Lions. Their colour was dirty-yellow or 
blanket-colour ; but from the nose over the head, along the 
back, and upper side of the tail, the colour was much darker, 
and, on these parts, the transverse stripes were stronger, and 
the forehead was covered with obscure spots, slighter indica- 
tions of which appeared also on other parts of the body. 
The shape of the head, as appears by the figures, is assi- 
milated to that of the father (the Lion) ; the superficies, of 
the body, on the other hand, is like that of the Tigress. 

In our collection of drawings, are three figures from a 
curious and unique specimen, which was for some months 
in the possession of Mr. Polito, at Exeter 'Change. Major 
Smith also took a hasty sketch from the same; and Mr. 
Landseer made another. We have engraved this animal 
from the last mentioned drawing, under the name of the 
Nebulose or Clouded Tiger, in reference to the peculiarity 
of the spots or rather patches, which covered its skin. It 


acquired the name among the keepers, at the menagerie, 
of the Tortoiseshell Tiger. 

The head of this animal was small compared with its 
general bulk. The throat was thick ; the body long, heavy, 
and cylindrical ; and the legs very thick, short, and mus- 
cular. The tail also was remarkably thick and long. The 
extreme irregularity of the markings of this animal render 
a compressed description difficult. The forehead and the 
limbs, both outside and within, were covered with nume- 
rous small, close spots ; on the sides of the face, were a few 
diagonal stripes ; the sides of the throat also, and the dorsal 
line were marked with long, irregular, black stripes, with 
but little parallelism or regularity of angle. The whole sides 
of the animal were covered also with black stripes, forming 
a few large irregular enclosures, some nearly round; others 
approaching a long square or oblong, thus assuming some- 
thing like the irregular uncertain figures of a passing 
cloud, or the bright yellow and rich brown of tortoiseshell, 
when viewed by refracted light. The tail was marked with 
many annuli, almost from beginning to end ; and the whole 
appearance of the animal was excessively beautiful. 

The irregular, circular, and oval open patches on the 
sides of this animal, might approximate it, in some mea- 
sure, to the group of Ocelots ; but its Asiatic habitat and 
large size, separate it entirely from these American Cats, 
and bespeak its relative situation among the Felinse to be 
after the Striped Tiger, and before the group designated 
by circular open spots. 

We are unable to give the particulars of his dimensions, 
but in the bulk of his body, and the size of his head, he 
was said to be nearly equal to the Bengal Tiger, though his 
legs were shorter, and appeared still stronger ; his tail was 
also much thicker, and appeared much browner and duller. 
He was fierce in disposition, but was less active and lively 
than the Bengal species ; nor did his eye convey that 



treacherous watchfulness of glance observed in the latter 
animal. He was said to have been brought from Canton. 

The specimen in question, was taken into the country 
with an itinerant exhibition, and died there, and so little 
attention did Zoology, at that time, receive here, that, as 
far as appears, its skin was cut up to make caps for the 
keepers, and no vestige of the animal is now known to 

It seems, however, there is no doubt of the distinctness 
of this species, as we are informed Sir Stamford Raffles 
is acquainted with the animal as indigenous in Sumatra. 
We may, therefore, hope for some more detailed particu- 
lars of it from that distinguished officer, and able writer*. 

* After the above observations on this animal were printed, 
No. 4 of the Zoological Journal came to the hands of the Editor, 
in which is amply fulfilled his anticipations of further and satis- 
factory particulars of the species, at least, presuming the identity 
of that, there described, with the one noticed in the text. 

These particulars are furnished by Doctor Horsfield, in his usual 
detailed and masterly manner, with the addition of various interest- 
ing remarks by Sir Stamford Raffles. Under present circum- 
stances, we have only the opportunity of inserting Sir Stamford's 
notice of the animal, with a few additions, byway of explanation, 
which seem to be required. 

A specimen of this species, that described by the Doctor, arrived 
in England in August last, and is lately dead. Sir Stamford re- 
fers to this and to another individual under the native name. In 
regard to the dimensions, he says, " A small Rimau-Dahan, 
lost in the Fame, which had been living in my possession about 
ten months, and might have been four months old, when he first 
came into my possession, attained a size of about one-third larger 
than the specimen which was brought to England last August, 
(length from nose to tail, three feet; length of the tail, two feet 
eight inches ; height one foot four inches.) The colours and 
marks were nearly the same, but more defined, and nothing yellow 
or red about it, the black having a striking velvety appearance. 
The tail was longer and more bushy than in the latter specimen. 



The Jaguar is so named in Brazil. The Portuguese have 
called it Onca, which Linnseus adopted as its specific name. 

This was obtained a few days before I last left Bencoolen, in April. 
It was then smaller than the Common Tiger Cat, and only distin- 
guishable from that animal, by the length of the tail, breadth of 
the paw, and colours. The natives assert that they do not attain 
a much larger size than the first specimen, and, perhaps, the full 
size of the wild and full-grown animal may be fairly taken as half 
as large again as the present specimen.'' 

To the preceding remarks on the dimensions of the Rimau- 
Dahan, Sir T. S. Raffles has added the following particulars re- 
garding its manners : " Both specimens, above-mentioned, while 
in a state of confinement, were remarkable for good-temper and 
playfulness ; no domestic kitten could be more so ; they were 
always courting intercourse with persons passing by ; and in the 
expression of their countenance, which was always open and 
smiling, shewed the greatest delight when noticed, throwing them- 
selves on their backs, and delighting in being tickled and rubbed. 
On board the ship, there was a small Musi Dog, who used to play 
round the cage and with the animal, and it was amusing to ob- 
serve the playfulness and tenderness with which the latter came 
in contact with his inferior-sized companion. When fed with a 
fowl that had died, he seized the prey, and after sucking the blood 
and tearing it a little, he amused himself, for hours, in throwing 
it about and jumping after it, in the manner that a cat plays with a 
mouse before it is quite dead. 

" He never seemed to look on man or children as prey, but as 
companions ; and the natives assert that, when wild, they live prin- 
cipally on poultry, birds, and the smaller kinds of deer. They 
are not found in numbers, and may be considered rather a rare 
animal, even in the southern part of Sumatra. Both specimens 
were procured from the interior of Bencoolen, on the banks of the 
Bencoolen River. They are generally found in the vicinity of 
villages, and are not dreaded by the natives, except as far as they 
may destroy their poultry. The natives assert that they sleep and 
often lay wait for their prey on trees ; and from this circumstance, 
they derive the name of Dahan, which signifies the fork formed 
by the branch of a tree, across which they are said to rest, and 
occasionally stretch themselves. 

" Both specimens constantly amused themselves in frequently 


It is peculiar to America, and is sometimes called the Tiger 
of that continent. In size and powers, indeed, it is but 
little inferior to that formidable beast. 

jumping and clinging to the top of their cage, and throwing a 
somerset, or twisting themselves round in the manner of a Squirrel 
when confined, the tail being extended, and shewing to great ad- 
vantage when so expanded." 

Dr. Horsfield refers to a figure by Howitt, published by the edi- 
tor of the present undertaking, some time ago, in an incomplete 
work, (the remainder of which is cancelled,) and also to the figure 
already given in a previous number of this work, under the name 
of Felis Nebulosa ; and having compared these Avith his specimen, 
he doubts the identity of the species of both individuals intended, 
and, therefore, drops the name of F. nebulosa, and in anticipation 
of M. Temminck, appropriates that of F. microcelis, which that 
gentleman had given to an inedited species in his possession, said 
to be the same as that of Dr. Horsfield. A comparison of our 
figure, here, merely (for of Howitt's accuracy, in general, little 
can be said,) with that by Mr. Daniel, which illustrates the Doc- 
tor's description, has led us, we confess, respectfully, to a different 
conclusion from that of Dr. Horsfield. Major Smith, it is true, as 
we shall see, suspects they are varieties. It will be seen, by 
the text, that our figure was taken from the specimen to which, 
also, the Doctor alludes, as identified with his species, under the 
name of the Fox-tailed and Tortoiseshell Tiger. 

Howitt's drawing was purchased by the editor a few years back, 
of that artist, and was, it seems, copied, though not at all faith- 
fully, from Major Smith's sketch. To the species intended, the 
editor, long since, applied the epithet nebulosus, which Major 
Smith adopted. Knowing, therefore, no more of the type, he sent 
the Zoological Journal to Major Smith, at Plymouth, who has re- 
turned, in effect, the following particulars. 

He gave, it seems, a copy of his drawing of the animal, together 
with his manuscript notes upon it, in 1817, to the Baron Cuvier, in 
whose collection, and in that of his brother, M. F. Cuvier, he saw it 
during the last summer. M. Temminck he believes, also, was first 
made acquainted with the species from his (the Major's) drawing, 
in 1820, at Amsterdam, at least, M. Temminck professed himself 
to have been previously unacquainted with it. In the absence, there- 
fore, of further particulars from that gentleman, Major Smith is in- 
clined to suspect that M. T.'s inedited species may be, in fact, the 


The open circles of black, with a central dot, form a 
strong specific character. The marks, however, differ much 

F. macraurus of Prince Maximilian, mentioned and figured in this 
work, a specimen of which the Major saw at M. Temminck's 
house. This conjecture, it is true, seems strongly negatived by 
Dr. Horsfield, who says, expressly, " no doubt remains as to 
the identity of the subjects from which the description was made," 
that is of M. Temminck's inedited species, and that of Doctor 

Major Smith inclines, also, to think either that the specimens of 
Sir Stamford Raffles and of Doctor Horsfield were small, or that 
they belong to a small variety, if not a separate species from nebu- 
losus. The latter, he says differs from the former in bulk, in colour, 
and in the marks on the head, no account being given of the 
zigzag between the eyes, which distinguished his specimen of 
F. nebulosa, a peculiarity, we must observe, which is noticed in 
Howitt's drawing, before-mentioned, but not in that made by Mr. 
Landseer. In bulk, he was, it seems, full as large as the great 
Jaguar, consequently, not quite equal to the Bengal Tiger. With 
respect to the habitat, the F. nebulosa was said to have been 
brought from Canton ; but it is true that an animal, said to have 
come from China, may very well have, in fact, been brought from 
Sumatra or Borneo, both being in the line of route of ships from 
China homeward. 

The editor, presuming the identity of the species, and in defer- 
ence both to Doctor Horsfield and M.Temminck, would most 
willingly have cancelled the name of F. nebulosa, and have sub- 
stituted for it that of F. macrocelis. Some slight uncertainty, how- 
ever, still remaining, as to the identity of the species described in 
the text, with that of Doctor Horsfield, particularly in reference to 
colour, and of both with that of M. Temminck, there would, there- 
fore, be an impropriety in doing it, were there no other objection. 

But should the identity of the three be clearly proved, it is obvious, 
that though the first detailed description of it is due to Dr. Horsfield 
and Sir Stamford Raffles, the first notice and liberal communication 
of its figure to zoologists long before, both here and on the conti- 
nent, is attributable to Major Smith. It would, therefore, be a slight, 
and an injustice done to him, to cancel the name he had adopted, 
and with it the memorial of his first knowledge and drawing of the 

The editor takes the present opportunity of observing, that no 
small inconvenience presents itself in the progress of this work, in 


in different individuals, nor do the two sides of the same 
animal always agree. 

Some inhabitants of South America describe two va- 
rieties, corresponding in colour and general appearance, 
but one of thern stands higher than the other, has the fore- 
legs smaller, a fur not quite so bright, and a more gentle 
disposition. Azara says, it is called Pope, but he thinks 
they are but one; but Major C. H. Smith, whose long re- 
sidence in America afforded him ample opportunity of 
inquiry, satisfied himself there were two distinct varieties 
of the Jaguar, differing principally in dimensions. 

The opposite figure is from his accurate pencil, from a 
specimen recently killed in America. The type was, as he 
believes, of the great Jaguar, which was shot in the act 
of devouring a Peccary, in the woods of Surinam ; it mea- 
sured two feet ten inches in height at the shoulder, but, 
from its compact and heavy make, it appeared larger 
than it was in reality. The spots do not strictly agree 
with what either the Baron or M. Lichtenstein have fixed as 
criteria; and Major Smith doubts whether any skin of this 
variety (presuming it to be the Pope or large Jaguar) has ever 
come under the observation of those indefatigable and ac- 
curate observers. The line of lengthened spots on the back 
was not quite full, and it seems probable, when they are so, 
that it arises from nonage. The marks on the sides are 
very irregular, and indefinable ; the eyes were small and 
sunken; the whiskers very long; and the whole character 
that of an aged animal. It was a male. The portrait is 


relation to the several new or uncertain species which may be no- 
ticed, and for which, however unwilling, he is in some degree 
obliged to coin names, while inedited figures of the same may 
already exist in the portfolios of zoologists, to which some other 
name may have been appropriated. 

II * 


extremely like that given by Azara, in his Travels, parti- 
cularly as to the make of the animal. 

Our figure of the small Jaguar is also from a drawing of 
Major Smith taken in America. It was a male, two feet 
two inches in height. Its general colour was paler and 
more ashy than the large variety, with five large distinct 
rows of annulated spots on the sides. It was excessively 
fierce and untameable. 

The Jaguar is very like the Panther or Leopard of the 
Old World, but the spots or rings of the former are larger 
and more oblong, particularly down the back, and those 
near the dorsal line have a central black dot, which is never 
seen in the Panther or Leopard ; the head is rounder; the 
animal altogether stouter and stronger; and the tail never 
reaches farther than to the ground, which last is, perhaps, 
the most obvious difference between them. 

On the whole, we are inclined to conclude that no accu- 
rate description has hitherto been given of the large variety 
of the Jaguar; or otherwise, that the individuals of this 
species are so subject to vary, as to render any specific cha- 
racter inconclusive. 

There is also a black variety * found in the forests on the 
frontiers of Brazil, which has the same spots and marks as 
the others, on a ground of a somewhat browner black ; so 
that they are visible only on close examination, and by 
viewing the skin when inclining at a certain angle from 
the direction of the light. This appears to be the Felis 
Discolor of Gmelin, the Couguar t of Buffbn, and the 
Black Tiger of Shaw ; although the figure given by Buffon 
does not correspond with it, inasmuch as the under part is 

* It is extremely difficult to say what is a variety, and what a 
distinct species. The Black Jaguar is, probably, only a variety ; 
but as it is not found in the parts where the Common Jaguar 
abounds, it may be thence presumed, that they are distinct. 

t Major Smith thinks this is distinct. See p. 473. 



white, The black variety, however, is extremely rare. One 
is also mentioned by Azara, perfectly white, with the spots 
indicated by a more opaque appearance ; but this peculi- 
arity was possibly the effect of albinism. 

The Jaguars are solitary animals, or are met with only 
in pairs ; they inhabit thick forests, especially in the neigh- 
bourhood of great rivers ; and if they be driven by their 
wants to seek for sustenance in the cultivated country, they 
generally do so by night. It is said they will stand in the 
water, out of the stream, and drop their saliva, which, float- 
ing on the surface, draws the fish after it within their 
reach, when they seize them with the paw, and throw them 
on shore for food. 

They will attack Cows, and even Bulls of four years old, 
but Horses seem to be their favourite prey. They destroy 
the larger animals by leaping on their back ; and placing 
one paw on the head, and another on the muzzle, they con- 
trive to break the neck of their victim in a moment. Hav- 
ing thus deprived it of life, they will drag the carcass, by 
means of their teeth, a very considerable distance, to their 
retreat, from which their great strength may, in some mea- 
sure, be estimated. 

The Jaguar is hunted with a number of Dogs, which, 
although they have no chance of destroying it themselves, 
drive the animal into a tree, provided it can find one a 
little inclining, or else into some hole. In the first case, 
the hunters kill it with fire-arms or lances ; and in the 
second, some of the natives are occasionally found hardy 
enough to approach it with the left arm covered with a 
sheepskin, and to spear it with the other ; a temerity which 
is frequently followed with fatal consequences to the hunter. 

The traveller, who is unfortunate enough to meet this 

formidable beast, especially if it be after sunset, has but 

' little time for consideration. Should it be urged to attack 

by the cravings of appetite, it is not any noise, or a fire- 


brand, that will save him. Scarcely any thing but the 
celerity of a musket-ball will anticipate its murderous pur- 
pose. The aim must be quick and steady ; and life or death 
depends on the result. 

Many parts of South America which were once griev- 
ously pestered with Jaguars, are now almost freed from 
them, or are only occasionally troubled with their destruc- 
tive incursions. 

D'Azara was once informed, that a Jaguar had attacked 
a Horse near the place where he was. He ran to the spot, 
and found that the Horse was killed, and part of his breast 
devoured ; and that the Jaguar, having probably been dis- 
turbed, had fled. He then caused the body of the Horse to 
be drawn within musket-shot of a tree, in which he intended 
to pass the night, anticipating that the Jaguar would return 
in the course of it to its victim : but while he was gone to 
prepare for his adventure, the animal returned from the 
opposite side of a large and deep river, and having seized 
the Horse with its teeth, drew it for about sixty paces to 
the water, swam across with its prey, and then drew it into 
a neighbouring wood, in sight the whole time of the person 
who was left by D'Azara concealed, to observe what might 
happen before his return. 

The husbandmen frequently fasten two Horses together 
while grazing; and it is confidently stated, that the Jaguar 
will sometimes kill one, and in spite of the exertions of the 
survivor, draw them both into the wood. This is a per- 
formance Molina also attributes to the Puma. It may be 
reconciled by supposing, that the extreme terror of the 
surviving Horse paralyzes its efforts. 

Generally speaking, particularly during day, the Jaguar 
will not attack a man ; but if it be pressed by hunger, or 
have previously tasted human flesh, its appetite will over- 
come its fears ; and during the residence of d'Azara in 
Paraguay, no less than six men were destroyed by this 

"V:i : 


i - a W" ? 





formidable beast, two of whom were at the time before a 
large fire. 

The central spot and short tail of the Jaguar will, with 
but little observation, soon enable any one to distinguish 
that transatlantic species from those of the old world, how- 
ever confused, to which it is nearly allied, and to which we 
shall now proceed. 

We shall treat of the Panther and the Leonard conjointly, 
necessarily so indeed, as the distinctness of the two on the 
one hand, or the identity of both subject only to variety on 
the other, seems still in some degree problematical. 

The history, says our author, in his Ossemens Fossiles, 
of the great Cats with round spots of the Old World, is 
more difficult to elucidate than that of the Jaguar, on ac- 
count of their mutual resemblance, and of the vague manner 
in which authors have spoken of them. 

The Greeks knew one of these from the time of Homer, 
which they named Pardalis, as Menelaus is said in the 
Iliad, to have covered himself with the spotted skin of this 
animal. This they compared, on account of its strength 
and its cruelty to the Lion, and represented as having its 
skin varied with spots. Its name even was synonymous 
with spotted. The Greek translators of the Scriptures used 
the name Pardalis, as synonymous with Namer, which 
word, with a slight modification, signifies the Panther, at 
present, among the Arabians. 

The name Pardalis gave place among the Romans to those 
of Panthera and Varia. These are the words they used 
during the two first ages, whenever they had occasion to 
translate the Greek passages which mentioned the Pardalis, 
or when they themselves mentioned this animal. 

They sometimes used the word Pardus, either for Pardalis, 
or for Namer. Pliny even says, that Pardus signified the 
male of Panthera, or Varia. 

So reciprocally the Greeks translated Panthera by the 

Vol. II, 2 I 


word Partialis. The word Panthera, although of Greek 
root, did not then preserve the sense of the word 'Uavfap, 
which is constantly marked as different from Pardalis, and 
by Oppian is said to be small and of little courage. The 
Romans, nevertheless, sometimes employed it to translate 
the word ITav0aj/>, 'arid the Greeks of the lower empire, in- 
duced by the resemblance of the names, have probably 
attributed to the Panther some of the characters which they 
found among the Romans, on the Panthera. 

Bocchart, without knowing these animals himself, has 
collected and compared with much sagacity every thing that 
the ancients and the orientalists have said about them. He 
endeavours to clear up these apparent contradictions by 
a passage in which Oppian characterizes two species of 
Pardalis, the great with a shorter tail than the less. 

It is to this smaller species that Bocchart would apply the 
word YlavBnp.' But there are found in the country known 
to the ancients, two animals with spotted skins ; the com- 
mon Panther of naturalists, and another animal, which, 
after Daubenton, is named the Guepard, (the Hunting 

The Arabian authors have there also known and distin- 
guished two of these animals ; the first under the name of 
Nemer, the other under that of Fehd, and although Bocchart 
considers the Fehd to be the Lynx, "I rather incline to 
think/' says the Baron, " it is the Hunting Leopard." 

The Guepard, then, would be the Panther, and there is 
nothing stated by the Greeks repugnant to this idea. 

Sometimes they associate it with the great animals, 
sometimes with the small, which seems to imply that it 
was of middling stature. Its young Were born blind, says 
Aristotle; it inhabited Africa with the Thos, according to 
Herodotus ; its skin was spotted, and its natural disposition 
tameable, as we are informed by Eustathius. 

The two last traits appear inapplicable to any other 


species than that secondly indicated by the Arabians : it is 
true, they are silent on the subject of its being employed in 
hunting, but this is very natural ; if, as Eldemiri informs 
us, the first person who so employed them was Chalib, son 
of Wail. 

As to the word Leopardus, its usage is much more recent, 
and there is no proof that it indicated a particular species. 
It is met with only in the authors of the fourth age, and 
was introduced by the fable of the intercourse between the 
Lioness and the Pardalis, and by degrees was applied to the 
Pardalis itself ; for, when Vopiscus says, that Probus, when 
on occasion of the German triumph, he exhibited one hun- 
dred Leopards from Lybia, and one hundred from Syria, he 
could not, doubtless, have meant to say, that they were 
the produce of such an unnatural intercourse. 

Thus abstracting for a moment the Lynx, the Greeks 
and Romans appear to have known but two species of 
these spotted animals, notwithstanding the opportunities, 
particularly of the latter, of becoming acquainted with 

We know at present of Africa but the two species of 
the ancients, the Panther and Leopard, ordinarily under- 
stood, and the Hunting Leopard, (Felis jubata.) The Leo- 
pard of modern naturalists, according to our latest re- 
searches, comes only from the parts of India the least 
known by the ancients. 

Thus far, in effect, the Baron, with his usual learning and 
research : to which we shall subjoin a few observations. 

Pliny tells us, that in his time the words Variae and Pardi 
were applied to all this family ; the former to distinguish 
the females, and the latter the males: and in a previous 
passage he observes, that these and the Tiger are almost 
the only spotted or striped beasts, the rest being uniform 
in colour, though it varies in the different species. Our 
author has noticed Pliny's observations, but it may be as 

2 I 2 


well to refer to the passage more particularly, and by the 
whole context of the quotation from this writer subjoined, 
it appears probable, that the moderns have been incorrect 
in applying the word Pardus specifically, as it was originally 
used only to denote a sexual distinction in the whole genus. 
" Panthera et Tigris macularum varietate prope solse bes- 
tiarum spectantur, caeteris unus ac suus cujusque generis 
color est leonum, tantum in Syria niger. Pantherus in 
candido breves macularum oculi. Ferunt odore earum mire 
solicitari quadrupedes cunctas, sed capitis torvitate terreri. 
Quamobrem occultato eo, reliquas dulcedine invitatas cor- 
ripiunt. Sunt qui tradunt in armo iis similee lunae esse 
maculam, crescentes in orbes, et cavantem pari modo cor- 
nua. Nunc varias, et pardos, qui mares sunt, appellant in 
eo omni genere, creberrimo in Africa Syriaque. Quidam 
ab iis pantheras solo candore discernunt, nee adhuc aliam 
differentiam inveni." Plinii Nat. Hist. lib. x. 

In another passage mention is made of the Pardi, Pan- 
thers, Leones, et similia. Now, unless Pardi and Pantherae 
were applied to the two sexes of the Spotted Cats, they 
could not have been synonymous, as the moderns have made 

If we turn to modern zoologists prior to the time of our 
author, we shall find that they have fallen into so many 
certain errors in describing these species as distinct, that 
the probability of their identity is rather strengthened by 
applying to their authority on this subject. To select a few 

Linnaeus gives as the specific characters of the Panther, 
" Felis, cauda elongata, corpore maculis superioribus orbi- 
culatis, inferioribus virgatis." With a long tail, the upper 
part of the body covered with orbicular spots, the lower part 
with stripes. This short description, it has been well 
observed, is inapplicable to any known species of the genus. 
Perhaps it is nearer to the Servals than to any other. His 


characters of the Leopard are, " Felis, cauda" mediocri, 
corpore fulvo, maculis subcoadunatis nigris." " With a 
moderate tail, a fulvous body covered with subcontiguous 
black spots." Dr. Shaw observes : " In the twelfth edition 
of the Systema Naturae, the Panther and Leopard seem to 
be confounded by Linnaeus himself, who appears to have 
considered them as the same species, under the name of 
Pardus." And if we consider the description given to the 
Panther to be irrelevant and factitious, it follows, that 
Linnaeus has only described one species of the large Spotted 
Cats found in Asia and Africa, which must include the 
Variae, and Pardi, and Leopardi, of the Romans. 

Buffon, the brilliancy of whose work has blinded man- 
kind to his imperfections, imbibed an idea which he never 
seems to have lost sight of, that the American animals were 
degenerate, and less in size than the species of the old 
world belonging to the same order : hence, probably, he 
was led into a misunderstanding, or too willingly confirmed 
in error on this subject. He has mistaken the Jaguar, 
which he describes from an Ocelot ; and refers the former 
animal, because, probably, it was a large species to the 
Panther of the ancients, transposing his figures accord- 
ingly. The furriers and exhibiters of wild beasts have 
imbibed this error ; and the Jaguar of America has alto- 
gether usurped the name of Panther from the species of the 
Old World, to which it was originally applied. 

Pennant's description of the Panther so nearly accords 
with the Jaguar of America, both in person and disposition, 
that there scarcely seems a doubt of this animal's being the 
type whence his description was taken. 

Dr. Shaw states, that the Leopard is best distinguished 
from the Panther by its paler yellow colour, and that a true 
distinctive mark between them is by no means easy to com- 
municate, either by description, or even by figure; but he 
adds, the Leopard is considerably the smaller of the two. 


He therefore makes the principal difference to consist in 
size and colour. 

Pliny says further: " Quidam ab iis Pantheras solo 
candore discernunt, nee adhuc aliam differentiam in- 
veni." It is possible, however, if the F. Uncia be really 
distinct, that Pliny refers to that species. Major Smith 
believes him to be distinct, and describes him as whitish- 
gray, faintly tinted with buff. " He may," says the Major, 
" have been a Syrian and Armenian animal, and I believe 
him now a resident of the mountains of Northern Persia." 
We refer to our figure of the specimen formerly in the 
Tower. It seems probable, that all those which come 
from Asia are much brighter in colour than those from 
Africa, and that the females in general have more white 
about them than the other sex. Mr. Cross, who has had 
opportunities of inspecting probably some hundreds of 
specimens, insists, that he has never observed any specific 
difference between those brought from Asia and Africa 
among themselves, except that the Asiatic are generally 
larger and brighter ; and except, also, that some individuals 
constantly carry their long tail curved outwards, and others 
inwards, the latter of which they call ring-tailed Leopards, 
It seems probable, therefore, that Dr. Shaw's leading specific 
distinctions of size and colour, apply rather to the Asiatic 
and African varieties, than to distinct species found in both 
those continents. The figures, however, in the General 
Zoology, neither illustrate the author's position on this 
subject, nor throw any light on the question ; for they are 
merely copied from Buffon, and that which is called the 
Panther is properly referable to the Jaguar. 

M. Lichtenstein, in a note communicated to Major Smith, 
draws a specific distinction. He describes the Panther as 
resembling the Jaguar in having the same number of rows 
of spots, but differing in having no full spots on the dorsal 
line. But it does not appear that full spots on the dorsal 


^ 3 


line always make a specific character of the Jaguar ; and 
the Asiatic Leopard is sometimes distinguished by this 
peculiarity, though it does not in other respects resemble 
the American animal. When, therefore, it is said, that 
the Panther much resembles the Jaguar, it is always to be 
strongly suspected, that the type, whence the observations 
are taken, is an American animal. 

We have selected two from amongst the several draw- 
ings before us, as being most opposed to each other, and, 
therefore, most illustrative of the differences between the 
Leopard and Panther of naturalists, whether as species or 

The specimen, named the Leopard, was at Exeter 
'Change. Compared both with the Jaguar, and with the 
Panther of naturalists, it was uniformly of a paler yellow- 
colour, rather smaller, and the spots rose-formed, or con- 
sisting of several dots, partially united into a circular 
figure, -in some instances, and into a quadrangular, triangu- 
lar, and other less determined forms in others ; there were 
also, and especially on the outside of the limbs, several 
single isolated black spots. 

The other, or Panther, is from Major Smith's drawing 
of one of the several Felinae, called Panthers, now in the 
Paris Museum. It is the smallest there, and the most 
closely marked with spots. These spots make a consider- 
able contrast with those of the other figure, the most so 
of any of the five or six specimens of Panthers in that 
celebrated collection. This figure, also, it will be seen, 
approximates very nearly that of the animal next described, 
particularly when uncoloured, and also, though less in de- 
gree, to that of the large and small Jaguar. The differ- 
ences which distinguish the former of these, will be ob- 
served upon in the description of the animal ; those that 
mark the latter have been already adverted to. 

The animal we have figured under the name, conditionally,. 


of the Panther of the Ancients, may deserve particular 
attention, in ascertaining the diversity of species of its con- 
similars, especially as it seems to possess traits of a real 
specific character. 

Major Hamilton Smith met with this species, stuffed, at 
Hesse Cassel. The animal measured five feet three inches 
from the nose to the insertion of the tail, and stood about 
two feet nine inches high at the shoulder. 

The first and great difference which distinguishes this from 
all the large-spotted Cats, hitherto described, whose speci- 
fic characters have been before stated from our author, is 
that the entire colour of the whole animal is a buff-yellow 
which assumes a darker tint, approaching to red, on the 
nose, and more ochery on the back and sides. The belly 
and insides of the limbs partake of this genera] colour, 
but paler, there being no white part about the animal. 

There may be said to be seven vertical rows of interrupted 
or imperfect annuli on the sides of the animal. These, as 
as well as the like open spots which mark all the Panthers, 
have, as Major Smith observes, the inner surface of the 
annuli more fulvous than the general colour of the sides. 
In the Leopards no such distinction appears, nor is there 
raom, as the small congregated dots are too close to admit 
it. The dorsal line is marked in the same manner, not with 
close, but open spots. These annuli differ from those of the 
Jaguar, to which they bear a considerable general similitude, 
in being all nearly circular, whereas those of the American 
animal become oblong as they approach the dorsal line ; 
they are also smaller when compared with the size of the 
animal, and much more numerous, covering not only the 
back, ribs, and haunches of the animal, but descending on 
the outside the legs, at least, to the knees. 

They differ again from the open annuli of the Jaguar, in 
being altogether without the spot in the centre, which ren- 
ders that species so obvious ; and the tail is spotted from 


beginning to end, unlike that of the Jaguar, which has the 
open oblong marks some way down, and is terminated by 
annuli of black, yellow, and white, running round it. The 
forehead, cheeks, sides of the neck, shoulders, throat, and 
inside of the limbs, are covered with numerous, close, small 
spots, and there is a narrow black bar crosses the lower part 
of the throat. 

The animal stands higher than the Great Jaguar, though 
it is lighter and slenderer, in which respect it approaches 
the Felis Jubata, though it is much larger, in proportion, 
than that species. The head is smaller than that of the 
Jaguar, and, in that respect, agrees with the known spe- 
cies of the Old World. 

Its native country was unknown, but it had lived in the 
menagerie of the Elector. 

The characters of this animal, which seem intermediate 
between the American Jaguar and its large spotted conge- 
ners of the Old World, though diverging from both in the 
uniformity of the ground colour, seem to accord considerably 
with the prevailing notion of the Panther of antiquity, 
when considered as distinct from the Leopard. The present 
apparent rarity of the animal, however, militates against 
the idea of its identity with the Panther, hundreds of which 
were frequently collected together at a time in Rome. It 
may be observed, however, that none of these animals are 
now imported from Syria, whence the Romans drew a great 
number, and where they still are, according to Dr. Clark. 

We have felt constrained, with Major Smith's permission, 
who drew the animal, to apply it to the Panther of an- 
tiquity, but with a mark of doubt. After all, the ancients, 
who were no great zoologists, may have applied the words 
Panther, and Pard, or Leopard, to all the larger Spotted 
Cats indifferently, to the Common Panther and Leopard of 
our menagerie, the present animal, the Felis Jubata, the 


Felis Uncia, and even the Lynx, in which case, the animal 
in question, would not be allowed to appropriate to itself, 
exclusively, the name of Panther. Conjecture must, for the 
present, supply the place of certainty ; we have endeavoured 
to compress together the sum and substance of what has 
been said upon the subject, but by no means pretend to 
determine the question, or even to offer an opinion on a 
mere question of fact, hitherto not satisfactorily ascertained 
even by Cuvier himself. 

The large Spotted Cats of the Old World, though occa- 
sionally found in some parts of Asia, are much more com- 
mon in Africa, and are, to the latter continent, almost as 
destructive as the Tiger is to the former. They seem, 
however, to have more respect, dictated by fear, for the 
human species, and will seldom attack a Man, unless pro- 
voked, or much pressed by hunger ; but they are cruelly 
destructive to the inferior animal creation. 

For the purpose of taking them, it is usual for the hunter 
to construct a hiding-place within musket-shot of a tree, 
on which is suspended some flesh as a bait for the uncon- 
scious beast, which receives the ball while in the act of 
taking it. The hunter, for greater caution, then waits till 
the following day, when a Dog, properly trained, is sent 
forward to track the animal to its retreat. If it be still 
alive, the Dog generally falls a victim, and saves the hunter 
from exposing himself, until he is satisfied that the beast 
is no longer capable of mischief. 

The female of the Panther or Leopard is gravid nine 
weeks, and the young, when born, are blind, and remain 
so about nine days afterward ; but the American Jaguar, 
which appears to have been confounded so much with this 
animal, is produced with the eyes open, and the mother is 
pregnant nearly four months. 

In Dr. Gmelin's edition of the " Systema Naturae," the 








Ounce *, F. Uncia, is described with the following specific 
characters : " Felis cauda elongata, corpore albido ; macu- 
lis irregularibus nigris : " which accord pretty well with the 
figure here given. Buffon also describes the Ounce at 
some length, and gives a figure of it ; but Cuvier seems to 
doubt the existence of this animal as a distinct species. 
After taking much pains to ascertain the truth, he states 
his opinion to be, that the Once of Buffon is no other than 
a variety of the Panther, because he has never been able to 
meet with an animal or a skin corresponding with Buffon's 
description ; he, therefore, omits it in his catalogue of Cats, 
both in the Ossemens Fossils and in the Rcgne Animal. 

The figure of the animal here represented, is from a spe- 
cimen brought from the shores of the Gulf of Persia, which 
was in the Tower of London. It is very distinct from all 
the other species in make, mark, and general appearance ; 
and corresponds with Buffon's figure, which has been copied 
by Schreber, Shaw, and others. It was about the size of a 
Panther or Leopard. 

Major Smith has also met with a skin of this species 
brought from the Gulf of Persia, from which he has made a 
drawing in his collection. He conjectures it to be a moun- 
tain species ; and, from the length of the fur, which is 
shaggy, one that resides in the higher snowy regions of 
northern Persia. 

It is with the utmost respect for the opinion of our author, 
that we venture to present this figure, which may, indeed, 
be only that of a variety of the Leopard. Indeed we are 
well aware of the extreme risk incurred the moment we de- 
part from his dicta or opinions, more especially in multi- 
plying factitious species, an evil under which Zoology is at 
present most grievously suffering. 

* Buffon says the word Once is a corruption from Lynx or Lunx, 
and that he retained the name because the animal in question has 
some affinity to the Lynx. 


The existing catalogue of species, even as we have stated 
in our Table appended, in which several that have been 
treated as distinct are omitted, is still, it is to be suspected, 
capable of many subtractions ; and many of them, when 
submitted to the observation of judicious, operative natu- 
ralists, and tried by the test of anatomical character, will 
be found to be mere varieties of others. 

Figures, however, if at all accurate, claim a more de- 
cided consideration than imperfect verbal descriptions ; and 
it must not be forgotten that Zoology has been neglected to 
an extraordinary degree in this country, notwithstanding 
the opportunities possessed here, above all others, of prose- 
cuting the science. The drawings in our possession have 
occupied many years in collecting, during which time a 
number of new species have occurred in our different exhibi- 
tions, each of which would have been the subject of obser- 
vation and comment, in the different learned societies of the 
continent, though they have been treated here purely as 
matters of pecuniary speculation of the exhibitors, and al- 
most altogether neglected by men of science. 

Under these circumstances, therefore, we earnestly de- 
precate the imputation of that foolish vanity which has in- 
duced many men to incumber Zoology by editing, as no- 
velties, species, or even genera, upon the authority of a 
single type, which, eventually, turn out scarcely to deserve 
the name of varieties. Such figures as we possess, which 
seem to claim attention from their novelty, we shall present, 
as we find them, Valeant quantum valere possint. 

At the end of the Large Spotted Cats, the Baron places 
the Hunting Leopard, Felis Jubata, the Chetah of India, and 
the Guepard of Buffon. The peculiarities of this species 
might suffice to qualify it for a separate station, at the end 
of the genus approaching the Dogs, so far as to be called, 
without impropriety, the Canine Cat. 

The Feline family is, in general, very strongly marked, 


but inclinations are to be found in certain of its species, 
both to the Dogs, and the Viverrae ; the Chetah or Maned 
Hunting Leopard, is the type of the former. In the sys- 
tem of dentition, and all the organs of sense, it corresponds 
with the Felinae, but in the non-retractibility of the claws, 
it differs from the genus in general. 

In this species, we have again, in a remarkable manner, 
the opportunity of observing the mutual harmony existing 
between the mental impulses and the physical powers of 
animals ; their disposition or inclination to destruction is 
precisely in unison and proportion with their bodily powers. 
If very weak, they are excessively timid ; if extremely strong, 
they are equally undaunted ; while those which hold a me- 
dium station, in this respect, seem generally to appreciate, 
as it were, with more sobriety, the conditions of their exist- 
ence, and to submit themselves to the dominion and artifi- 
cial education of Man more easily than the rest. The 
Hunting Leopard is in this intermediate situation. About 
as big as a large Dog, its leading weapons of offence, the 
claws, are in the same situation as those of that animal ; 
incapable of being withdrawn into a sheath for protection, 
they are constantly exposed to the friction of the ground, 
by which they become worn and blunt, and so much the 
less effectual for active warfare ; but otherwise the animal 
has all the suppleness and elasticity, the trenchant teeth, and 
the powerful jaws of the Cats. Partially deficient, there- 
fore, in the physical powers of its congeners, it is equally 
wanting in the extreme ferocity of its disposition. 

The Hunting Leopard is of a pale yellow colour on the 
upper part, white underneath, and covered all over with 
very small spots without regularity ; it has a slight erect 
mane down the neck, whence it is named. The eye-pupil 
is round at all times. The slim make of the body and 
limbs of this animal, calculated apparently rather for speed 
than strength, assimilate it in a remarkable degree to the 


canine race, withwhich we have already compared it. In 
a certain aptness or capability it possesses of being trained 
for field sports, it is also more like the Dogs than the Cats. 
It is, therefore, strictly speaking, intermediate, and we ap- 
pear to pass naturally from the latter race of animals 
through this species to the former. It also exhibits the 
first step or remove from the perfect fitness for carnivorous 
and predatory habits in the loss of the retractile power of 
the talons. 

M. F. Cuvier says of the individual he describes, that 
except in regard to that mistrust natural to the Cats, he 
had all the habits of those animals, playing in the same 
graceful manner and with the same address ; and although 
his nails were not trenchant, he exercised his forepaws in 
play in the same manner as the Cats, striking any small 
moving body with his paw, and seizing his food in both. 
Under all these circumstances, he was altogether a Cat, 
and differed only from his congeners in his much greater 
degree of confidence, and in all the consequences resulting 
therefrom. Familiar with every one, he was always ready 
to make the slight noise we call purring whenever he was 
caressed by .any person. 

He was brought up with perfect liberty, and was accus- 
tomed to live even with children and the domestic animals. 
In his passage from Senegal he was equally as free, and 
while in France, was kept during summer in a park, where 
he had the opportunity of amusing and exercising himself. 
When it was cold, or his inclination induced him to come 
in doors, he made a uniform frequent mewing, which he 
also used to express his hunger, or his thirst, or his affection. 

This individual was taken in Africa, and the species is 
said to be indigenous also in India ; but from the inspec- 
tion of several individuals, particularly two that were lately 
in Wombwell's itinerant collection, and from a drawing 
in particular in our possession, from a sketch made in 


India by the late Mr. Devis, we are strongly inclined to 
think that there are two distinct species of the Canine 
Cats, agreeing in general description, particularly in the 
want of the retractile power of the claws, the one with a 
mane and the other without ; the former proper to Africa, 
and the latter to India. The Indian or maneless species 
appears also to us to be taller, and to have a longer neck, 
smaller head, and shorter muzzle than the other. 

The Hunting Leopard, it is said, is conveyed in a car- 
riage, or on a pad behind the saddle of a horseman, with a 
hood over the eyes, to the field, and when the game, Ante- 
lopes, fyc, is started, the hood is taken off, and it is sent 
out in pursuit. It follows by leaps or bounds, and if un- 
successful in taking its prey after a few efforts, declines 
the pursuit, and returns to its keeper. 

Specimens of large black FelinaB have been frequently 
quoted as distinct species, as the Felis Chalybeata of Her- 
man, which M. F. Cuvier pronounces decidedly to be the 
common Panther or Leopard badly coloured ; the Felis 
Melas of Peron, said by the Baron to be a Black Leopard ; 
the Jaguarate of d'Azara, the Black Cougouar of Pen- 
nant, <§c. Major Smith has a drawing he refers to this 
last species ; the form of the animal is that of the Cou- 
gouar ; the cheeks to the ears, the throat, and belly, are 
white, the rest of the animal black. " There is," says the 
Major, " a Black Tiger in the mountains of Chitagong 
pretty common, probably the same species as that brought 
to this country by Mr. Hastings ; and there is also an un- 
described Panther, of considerable size and of a dark co- 
lour, with very numerous black rose and conglomerate 
spots, at Erlangen." 

We rather apprehend that most of the known Felinse are 
apt to vary to a uniform black, and we have drawings which 
may be attributed to the Black Jaguar and the Black Leopard. 

But it may be proper not to pass over a specimen which 


was in Mr. Bullock's late Museum, and we believe is now 
in Germany. It was wholly of a grayish, liver-colour, or 
chocolate and white mixed upon each hair, marked with 
more opaque round full dark brown spots and blotches. 
The tail was darker than the body, and annulated with about 
twelve darker rings, the tip being black. The back of the 
ears was black, with a white spot in the middle ; the insides 
whitish. Three rows of barbs formed the whiskers. It 
measured two feet nine inches in length, the tail one foot 
three inches, and was a male. This may be the Jaguaroundi 
of the Brasilians, but the peculiarity of its colour seems to 
bespeak it distinct. The drawing is by Major Smith, who, 
without insisting on it as an undescribed . species, names 
the animal conditionally Felts Chalybeata ? 

Of the Ocelots, a group in the Feline family of middling- 
sized Cats, distinguished by yellow spots more or less oval, 
bordered with black, several individuals have been described, 
but whether any or all of these were varieties or distinct 
species, may be doubted. D'Azara considers them all as 
a single species. Our author makes three specifically dif- 
ferent ; and we shall have occasion to submit the figures of 
some others which appear to us to be distinct. 

The Jaguar of Buffon is evidently and very erroneously 
one of these. It will be seen by the table that this species 
is identified by modern zoologists with the Tlatco-Ocelots of 
Hermandez and the Chibigouazou of Azara, and is figured 
byF. Cuvier under the name of Chati. His figure is copied 
here, in order that it may be compared with the others from 
drawings by Major Smith, one of which that gentleman 
refers, though not without hesitation, to the Tlatco-Ocelots 
of Hermandez, and the Jaguar of Buffon, and the other 
to the Chibigouazou. 

We had written some observations on this group of the 
Felinse, when Major Smith favoured us with his sentiments 

'' ww^S 


upon them, which, with his permission, we shall insert in 
his own words, illustrated with engravings from his draw- 
ings, referred to in the description : — 

" My present view of the Ocelots," says he, " is that 
they form a subordinate group in the great family of the 
Felinae. As a general character, I would describe them as 
being of middle size, between the larger and the small 
Cats, of more slender and elegant proportions, without tufts 
on the ears, the spots diverging more or less in concatena- 
tions or streaks from the shoulders backwards and down- 
wards, and, as far as I have hitherto observed, the pupil of 
the eye round. (Of this last character, however, I am still 
very doubtful, and my doubt arises from the probability 
that all the living specimens which I examined were, from 
the very circumstance of attentive inspection, under a state 
of alarm, and therefore with the pupils dilated.) They 
belong all to the New World, but there are two or three 
species of the Old that approach them in several particu- 
lars, and therefore might make the next group. I shall 
refer in the following descriptions to my drawings nume- 
rically. My appropriation of their types to species hitherto 
described, must, in our present state of knowledge, be con- 
ditional only. 

" Felis Ocelot, No. 1. — Of this both the male and female 
are rufous on the nose, face, neck, and shoulders; on the 
back and upper part of the tail they are white, very slightly 
tinged with reddish and gray ; on the under parts of the 
head, throat, legs, breast, belly, and hams, there is white 
running up the rump and sides between the streaks and 
spots in dichotomous rows. These two colours, the rufous 
and the white, are separated by black streaks in spotted 
lines, forming very elongated rays, and on the rufous co- 
lour within the rays are a few black specks. On the hams 
and thighs there are large black blotches. The tail has 
blotches variously figured above, and smaller spots under- 
Vol. II. 2 K 


neath ; the tip is white. On the forehead two streaks 
running from the inner angle of the eye, proceed to behind 
the ears, and the space between is filled up with small 
spots. The outside of the ears is black, with a white spot. 
From the external angle of the eye two black streaks with 
a white space between, running to below the ears; and on 
the throat, two black streaks in broken forms go down- 
wards to the breast, with some spots between. 

" No. 2 is about the same size as the last, but the rufous 
covers a larger space on the back and hams. The spots on 
the shoulders are more numerous and smaller. There is 
one large spot on the cheek, and four or five small open 
chainlike spots on the hams. There are no specks within 
the large streaks. 

" These are both from South America. I have examined 
several of them alive, and about twelve in a stuffed form. 

" I incline to think that one (or both) of these (if varieties) 
must be the Chibi-gouazou of Azara. The word is South 
American, where these animals are found. I believe Nos, 
1 and 2 to be South American, and Nos. 3 and 4 Mexican, 
though I do not mean to assert that each may not be found 
in the country of the other ; and if this be so, Azara's ap- 
pellative seems most likely to belong to the former. 

" No. 3 is smaller, with the nose, forehead, neck, back, 
shoulders, fore part of fore legs, and rump ashy mixed with 
ochery. The streak from the inner angle of the eyes to 
the ears has only one row of spots within it. The long 
open spots on the neck and back are shorter, less diverging, 
fulvous within, but without any spot on the fulvous. On 
the fore legs only there are a few large spots ; on the hams 
there are some round, open, and a few small black wavy 
spots. The tail is altogether, or nearly, fulvous, ringed 
with black, with the tip white. There is a black ring round 
the eyes, and a streak down each side of the nose ; a large 
spot on the cheek, and two bars, with white between them, 





from the outer angle of the eye to below the ear. Four 
black broad bars cross the throat. 

" A young female of this is now in Mr. Bullock's Mexi- 
can collection. It came from Mexico. 

" I have examined five or six specimens, and believe I 
have sufficient grounds for considering the differences be- 
tween this and the preceding not to arise from nonage. 

tl I believe that at Paris there are stuffed specimens of 
male and female Ocelots, with specks in the centre of the 
open rings or spots, but am not certain of this, or whether 
this character be any indication of sexual difference. 

" No. 4 I have seen but twice. It is fulvous on the nose, 
forehead, shoulders, fore-arm, back, rump, and paws. The 
temples are ochery ; the rest of the animal white. There 
are no black streaks on the forehead, but instead of them a 
number of small round spots covering the whole surface. 
Two broken streaks run from the outer angle of the eye to 
below the ear. On the shoulders and flanks there are four 
or five long open fulvous spots, bordered with a chain of 
black. On the rest of the back, rump, and hams, there are 
small open spots. The tail is annulated, the tip black. 
On the fore legs and the lower part of the hind legs are 
small black spots. The specimen figured was formerly in 
Bullock's collection, supposed to belong to southern Mexico, 
Honduras, fyc. 

" This appears to me to be the animal from which the 
figure in Buffon and Shaw was taken, under the name of 
the Jaguar*. 

" Whether these few are specifically different or heredi- 
tary varieties, I do not mean to determine ; but from the 
number of specimens of each that have fallen under my 
observation, there seems little doubt that one of these alter- 

* Buffon gave two figures for his Jaguar : the one is the Chati of 
F. Cuvier, the other the species here alluded to. 

2 K 2 


natives is correct, and the several figures are not mere indi- 
vidual differences. 

. " These that follow bear a still more decided appearance 
of specific distinction, and have been or may be named. 

" The F. Catenata, is an undoubted species, of the size 
of a Wild Cat. The legs are in proportion shorter than 
those of the before-described ; the head and body heavier. 
The nose, forehead, under the eyes, arms, shoulders, back, 
rump, hind legs, and tail, are of a reddish-yellow colour ; 
the temples ochery ; the cheeks, throat, belly, and inside 
of the legs white. Several rows of black spots from the 
ears converge on the forehead. There is a single streak 
from the outer angle of the eye to below the ear. On the 
shoulder, back, side, rump, and hams, there are long chain- 
like streaks of black and reddish-brown, intermixed ; the 
belly and throat have black streaks, and the tail has im- 
perfect black annuli. 

" Of this I have observed two specimens, one in Bullock's 
former collection, the other in the Museum at Berlin, which 
I examined with Professor Lichtenstein, and which proving 
by the teeth to be an old specimen, convinced him of the 
reality of its being a distinct species, and not a young Oce- 
lot as he had previously conjectured. 

" Felts Macrourus of Prince Maximilian, of Neuwied. 
This is about the size of the former, but higher on the legs ; 
the neck is long and thick ; the face very short ; the tail 
nearly a fourth longer than the former. The face, neck, 
back, shoulders, rump, and hams are ochery gray, streaked 
and marked with | rows of large black spots, describing 
somewhat regular figures. The tail is semi-annulated, with 
the tip black. Two streaks under each eye run to the angle 
of the jaw, and one above to the ear. There are some spots 
on the forehead and cheeks, and others still larger on the 

'■* Of these I have seen two specimens, one in Mr. Tem- 


\lton- Smith. £sa ?" drZ. 



londjm.Bjljhslied Iv G£ JVliittaJcenUe^ 1SX4- . 


minck's museum, and the other in that of Prince Maximi- 
lian, who, I believe, brought both from Brazil. 

" I insert here, as distinct, the Chati of M. P. Cuvier. 

" The specimen I have named conditionally Colocolo? 
from Molina, seems to terminate this little group, and by 
the character of its markings, to approximate to the Servals 
and Tiger-Cats of the Old World. 

" It does not appear certain, though it may be probable, 
that this is the animal Molina indicated as the Colocolo, 
as he calls the marks spots, and not streaks ; at least, the 
word is so translated. 

" This fierce animal was shot in the interior of Guiana, by 
an officer of Lewenstein's riflemen, and by him stuffed and 
sent to England for his Royal Highness the Duke of York ; 
but probably never reached its destination. A whimsical 
occurrence took place with it. The gentleman who had 
shot it, placed it on the awning of the boat to air, as he 
was descending the river to Paramaribo ; the boat often 
passed under the branches of large trees which overhung 
the river, and on which were the resting-places of numerous 
Monkeys, sometimes hanging to the extremest branches 
above the water. Although the t vessel would on other 
occasions excite but little attention, no sooner was the 
stuffed specimen in sight, than the whole community would 
troop off with prodigious screams and howlings. It was 
of course surmised from the excessive terror of these ani- 
mals, that this species of Cat must be an active enemy to 

" This animal was larger than the Wild Cat. The head 
was remarkably flat and broad. The ears large and round. 
The body slender. The tail just touched the ground when 
the animal was standing. The legs were very strong. The 
colour of the neck and back was whitish gray. The head, 
throat, shoulders, sides, belly, and inside of the limbs white. 
The back was marked with lengthened streaks of black, 


edged with tawny ; and towards the shoulders and thighs, 
with streaks of tawny. There was a black streak from the 
corner of the eyes to the jaws, and some barry marks on the 
forehead. The outside of the ears were dark gray; the 
insides pink and naked, as well as the nose. The tail was 
semi-annulated with black, having a black tip, and it ex- 
hibited a great peculiarity in the legs, which were all of 
them of a very dark gray colour up to the knees. 

" This may, perhaps, be the New Spain Cat of Button, 
before alluded to. 

" To these may perhaps be added the Jaguarondi of 
Azara, which seems to be the black species of this sub- 
division. In size and proportions, he belongs entirely to 
the Ocelots, and I could just detect something of darker 
streaks running lengthways on the flank of the only spe- 
cimen I have ever examined." 

Of the Chati of F. Cuvier, the Baron observes, that it is 
more than one-fourth less than the Chibi-gouazou ; less 
even than the Wild Cat, not having the head longer than 
four inches and a half, the body eighteen inches, the tail 
ten, and the height eleven. 

The ground colour of its fur is brownish-gray, paler on 
the flanks, and white on the cheeks and under the body. 

The spots both black and white of its head and ears are 
the same as in the Ocelot. Three series of black spots pass 
along the back ; those of the flanks, shoulders, and crupper 
are deep yellow, bordered with black all round, except at 
the anterior edge. There are seven or eight, one above 
another. Some of those on the shoulders unite and form 
an oblique band ; they are smaller on the feet, and there 
are none on the toes ; those on the belly are full but cloudy ; 
the tail has ten or eleven black rings. 

"This species is from Brazil, and it appears to me," 
continues the Baron, " that it is the same as M. Sching in 
the German translation of the Regne Animal, names Felis 















Wiedii, after an individual which had been communicated 
to him by the Prince Maximilian." 

The Chati and the Felis Macrourus are very different, as 
the comparison of our two figures sufficiently evinces. 

We shall now recross the Atlantic, and proceed to the 
Felinse of the Old World, which bear some analogy to the 
small group of Ocelots of the New. 

We shall abbreviate the Baron's observation on the Serval 
or Tiger-Cat of the Furriers, (F. Serval, Gm.,) which, by 
the longitudinal bands of the neck, seems to announce the 
following species. 

Perrault described it {Mem. del' Acad. t. iii. pi. 13,) from 
a very fat specimen under the name of Chat Pard, which 
Hernandez had given to the Tlatco-ocelot, and again, in 
Part III. of the same volume, under the name of Panther, 
much more exactly. Buffon named it Serval, applying very 
arbitrarily a passage of Vincent Marie on an Indian Cat 
less than the Civet, and which assuredly cannot be said of 
the Serval. 

" The fact is, that the skins of the Tiger-Cats of the 
Furriers come to us by hundreds from the Cape of Good 
Hope, and after the information I have received from mer- 
chants, I have no longer any doubt," says the Baron, "on 
the African habitat of this animal ; lam therefore con- 
vinced that M. d'Azara was wrong when he thought he 
recognised his Mbaracaya in one of the Tiger-Cats of the 

As we give a figure of this species from M. F. Cuvier, 
we shall not detail its specific characters, except to observe, 
that the ground colour of the fur is bright yellow, more or 
less gray. Round the lips, the throat, the under part of 
the body, and the interior of the thighs, is whitish. 

The bands and spots are larger or smaller, and more or 
less numerous in different individuals. They are in general 


about thirty inches long, and the tail nine or ten inches. 
Their height from fifteen to twenty inches. 

It is manifest, says our author, that the pretended Ca- 
racal of Barbary, without pencils of hairs to the ears, with 
stripes and black spots which Buffon describes from Bruce, 
is no other than this Serval. The Cinereous Cat of Pennant 
and Shaw he also refers to the gray variety of the Serval. 

Buffon refers to the Serval his New Spain Cat. It was 
of a bluish-ash colour, spotted with black in pencils. If 
this notice which was sent to Buffon by an anonymous author 
be genuine, the species must be very distinct. Pennant refers 
this species to Seba, f. ii. pi. 48, which is no other than a 
bad figure of a very young Panther or Leopard. 

The Mar gay of Buffon , (Felis Tigrina, Gm. ,) has the lines 
and spots of the head similar to the Chati of Cuvier. The 
upper part of the body is yellowish-gray, the under part 
white ; four black lines pass from the vertex to the shoul- 
ders, and then change into series of long streaks. The 
spots on the flanks are long and oblique ; on the shoulders 
there is one vertical ; on the crupper and limbs they are 
oval and scattered ; on the inner sides of the limbs are some 
transverse bands ; the feet are gray and spotless ; the tail 
has some irregular unequal rings, to the number of twelve 
or fifteen ; the middle of the lateral spots is paler than the 
edges. It measures about twenty inches in length, and the 
tail is about eight or nine. 

The individual described by Buffon came from Cayenne. 
The Brasilian word Margaia, is the root of Buffon's appel- 
lative Margay. 

D'Azara describes, says the Baron Cuvier, an animal 

under the name of Mbaracaya, which the Baron for a long 

time took to be the Serval, but which he now believes to be 

an adult Margay. 

The Kenouk or Javan Cat of Dr. Horsfield, comes next 

< . 


in the Baron's catalogue of these species. The general 
colour of this animal is grayish-brown, exhibiting on the 
body, neck, and limbs, a delicate mixture of gray of dif- 
ferent shades. The upper parts are more intensely coloured 
and inclined to tawny ; the throat, cheeks, fore-part of the 
neck, the breast, belly, and tail underneath are whitish. 
Although it resembles the common Domestic Cat in many 
points, the smallness of the ears, and their distance from 
the eyes, give to its front a different appearance; the form 
of the body is likewise more slender. 

Four regular series of elongated spots pass from the head 
to the tail of this species, and the sides are covered with 
regular smaller spots, decreasing in size and intensity of 
colour as they approach the central line of the under part 
of the body ; these peculiarities, together with two trans- 
verse bands which pass across the anterior part of the 
throat, form its principal specific characters. 

This species measures about one foot eleven inches in the 
length of the head and body, and the tail about eight inches, 
which is also about the average height of the animal. 

The Kenouk is found in large forests in every part of 
Java. It forms a retreat in hollow trees, where it remains 
during the day ; at night it ranges about in quest of food, 
and often visits the villages at the skirts of the forests, com- 
mitting depredations among the Hen-roosts. The natives 
ascribe to it an uncommon sagacity, asserting, that in order 
to approach the fowls unsuspected, and to surprise them, it 
imitates their voice. It feeds chiefly on Fowls, Birds, and 
small Quadrupeds, but in case of necessity it also devours 

This animal, says Dr. Horsfield, is perfectly untameable; 
its natural fierceness is never subdued by confinement. The 
same character is given to the Bengal Cat ; but it has not 
the disagreeable odour ascribed to that species, nor does it 


frequent reeds near to the water, to feed on Fish, Snails, 
and Muscles. 

The Rimau Bulu of the Malays is described and figured 
by Dr. Horsfield, under the epithet Sumatrana; he says it 
is one of the various species of Felis which are found on 
the Island of Sumatra. 

It is really quite disheartening to the Tyro in zoology to 
be told of the various species of one genus of mammalia to 
be found in a single island. Either any thing like perfec- 
tion in a catalogue of animals is perfectly unattainable, or 
the species are unduly multiplied. It cannot be doubted on 
the authority of such an observer and such a scholar as 
Dr. Horsfield, that there are strongly-marked external dif- 
ferences in various individuals and, perhaps, races of the 
genus ; but are not all these analogous to what the French 
call the Chien des Rues, the endless varieties of the Dog, 
and will they not all breed together ? If so, these external 
characters on which their distinctness is founded, will be 
found to be evanescent, and the zoologist be constantly 
doomed to the more difficult task of unlearning much of 
what he has acquired. 

We shall merely observe that this particular Sumatra 
Cat, or the Rimau Bulu, is about the size of the preceding, 
the colour more yellow, and the spots blacker ; these are 
also much more irregular both in disposition and shape. 
Our author seems to refer it to the Bengal Cat of Pennant. 

There appears, however, to be in Java another wild spe- 
cies of the Cat, much larger, and very remarkable for the 
beautiful regularity of its spots, which our author names 
from M. Diard, its describer, Felis Diardi. Major Smith 
has long had it in his collection ; and we have also a draw- 
ing of it. 

Its size is nearly that of the Ocelot. The ground colour 
of its fur is yellowish-gray. The throat and back are co- 


sir zm:. 





vered with black spots, forming longitudinal bands. Other 
similar spots descend down the shoulders perpendicular to 
the preceding, On the thighs and part of the flanks are 
black rings, open, with the centres gray, and upon the legs 
are black full spots. The yellowish-gray and the black of 
the tail form some dusky rings. 

Mr. Burchel, in the second volume of his travels in Africa, 
describes, from at least fourteen skins he met with, a species 
of South African Cat, in size not larger than the common 
domestic species. The general colour is tawny, fainter on 
the under parts, but entirely covered with black spots, 
rather long than round, neither annulated nor ocellated. A 
few of the spots on the back of the neck are sometimes 
elongated into stripes, while those on the fore-part of the 
shoulder join and form very black transverse stripes or 
irregular bands, of which several surround both the fore 
and the hind legs. In some older individuals the upper spots 
seem faded nearly to a brown. All these marks on the 
lower part of the body are extremely black ; and the under 
parts of the feet are the same, whence Mr. Burchel appears 
to have named the species, F. Ni gripes. 

The tail is of the same colour as the back, and confusedly 
spotted, at least, to four inches from its base ; but it was 
in no part annulated. 

The top of the head is of a darker colour than the body. 
The ears ovate, obtuse, and of an uniform grizzled dark 
brown covered with very short close hairs, the anterior edge 
being furnished with upright white hairs as long as the ear 
itself. The hair over the eyes is whiter ; the cheeks are of 
the same colour as the sides ; and the whiskers are white. 

This, though not bigger than the Common Cat, may per- 
haps be placed in the little group of Servals ; but as the 
length of its tail is not ascertained, its proper place in the 
genus must remain doubtful. 
' We have seen that the Baron, in a note on the text 


(v. i. p. 46,) treats the Cape Cat of Dr. Forster as a Vi- 
vera. He since, however, has been inclined to consider it 
as a young specimen of the Serval. 

Shaw has figured this Cat from one of two drawings by 
Dr. Forster, now in the Banksean library ; and, as much 
uncertainty exists in regard to it, we have copied both these 
drawings, in order that they may be compared with the 
rest. The head in profile has a peculiar appearance, and if 
correctly drawn, stamps it with an originality that can 
hardly be mistaken should other specimens again occur. 

The group of this numerous family of the Felinae, which 
has the common Domestic Cat for its type, must receive but 
a brief notice, to which shall be added one or two figures, 
which seem to demand some attention. 

D'Azara describes three species of Wild Cats, found in 
America : first, the Yagouaroundi, the colour of which is 
uniform, and without spots; each hair is annulated, black 
and white ; but as the tip is always dark, this colour pre- 
vails. It is very savage, and inhabits the borders of the 
forests. This has been already noticed among the group 
of Ocelots. 

The Ezra, which is of a clear red colour, with white 
whiskers, and a white spot on each side of the nose. 

And the Pageros or Pampa Cat, which has the upper 
part of the body a clear brown, and the lower parts white, 
with transverse stripes. 

To which is added, in his Travels, the Negre, or Black 

We are enabled, by the kindness of Major Smith, to pre- 
sent a figure which seems to refer to the second-mentioned 
of these. Indeed, it so nearly accords with the short de- 
scription d'Azara has given of his Cat, as to leave little 
doubt of its being the Eira. 

This is a miniature Couguar ; and the drawing from which 
Major Smith copied it, is the original whence Margrave and 

C.HanzClCtm Smzff, . 

//'r,'. /i.V,7ii;ti?/.::.rD,-c'7< t ]J>25. 


EM aiMA 

m wa.i 

?:<■" Smith EsfTdeR 



Piso have taken their figures, and Buffon his name of Cou- 
guar. It is deposited in the very curious collection made 
under the eye of the celebrated John Maurice, Prince of Nas- 
sau (commonly styled Prince Maurice), who commanded the 
Dutch forces in Guiana in the seventeenth century, which 
collection is now in the royal library at Berlin. The figure 
is as here represented, with two names, Cuguacuarara, and 
Cuguaguguarana, above ; and in the Prince's hand is 
written, " sehrfurios, und nicht grosser als ein kleine katze? 
very furious and not larger than a small Cat. This figure 
is copied in oil in another book, with the same names, and 
a note of Margrave, who, by some mistake, has con- 
founded it with the South American Couguar, or Puma ; 
and in examining the description, he has extracted the 
word Couguar out of the Brazilian denomination. D'Azara, 
who describes this animal, states that there is some uncer- 
tainty as to its name; but he believes that this, as well as 
his Yagouaroundi, is known by the name Eira. The name 
Haira was also given to a species of Wild Cat sent to Buffon 
from America. The original drawing whence the figure 
was taken corresponds so exactly with D'Azara's animal, as 
to leave no doubt of its identity ; while the note upon it ren- 
ders it at least prudent to adopt the name of Puma, and 
to drop that of Couguar, for the animal vulgarly known by 
the name of the American Lion. 

We have also engraven the figure of a beautiful stuffed 
Cat in the Museum of Erlangen, brought from South Ame- 
rica by Count Hoffmansegg. It is almost two feet long, 
and the tail ten or eleven inches. The hairs are extremely 
soft, long, and silky. The ground colour is white, but the 
animal is variously clouded with shades of brown and yel- 
low. This seems to be the Spanish or Tortoiseshell Cat in a 
wild state, or it may be the Pageros of d'Azara. 

The Common Cat is said to be originally from the forests 


of Europe. In the savage state it is of a brown-gray co- 
lour, with transverse deeper stripes ; the tail has two or 
three dark bands, and the extremity is black. The genuine 
Wild Cat is to be found in the remote parts of Great Bri- 
tain, and may be called, as Mr. Pennant observes, the 
English Tiger. Its manners are similar to those of the 
Lynx, living in woods, and preying during the night on 
every animal it can conquer. 

In a domesticated state, the Cat varies greatly in colour 
and the length and fineness of the hair, but much less than 
the Dog ; nor is it so submissive or capable of attachment 
as the latter animal, ever retaining much of its primitive 
ferocity, perfidy, and cruelty, and never entirely to be 
trusted. It has, however, a considerable and blind attach- 
ment to its domicile # . 

However prevalent and however inexplicable the tendency 
to variety, particularly in domesticated animals, many facts 
seem to evince that nature seems as it were unwillingly 
forced into the operation, as may be observed in the do- 
mesticated Cat ; when, as is sometimes the case, it escapes 
from the society of mankind and returns to its primitive 
mode of life, its offspring soon return to the dark striped 
character of the ordinary wild species. 

It is observable also, that such varieties of the Domestic 
Cat as differ most in appearance from the common wild 
species are proportionally more different in manners and 
habits. The former sort will eat occasionally vegetable 
food, which the wild varieties are not known to do ; a na- 

* It must be observed, however, that the disposition of the Do- 
mestic Cat depends materially on its treatment. Cats are a perse- 
cuted race, but when treated with kindness, are very nearly as 
capable of personal attachment as Dogs. I am also inclined to 
think that the tortoiseshell, and lighter varieties, are of a gentler' 
disposition than the others. — P. 


tural or physical indication of which is to be found in the 
intestines of the domesticated, which are longer than those 
of the common wild species. 

The varieties of the Domestic Cat are considerable in 
number : as the Brinded Cat, with black feet and annulated 
tail ; the slate-coloured or blue-gray, called the Chartreuse 
Cat ; the tortoiseshell or Spanish Cat ; the white or slate- 
coloured, with long fur, called the Persian Cat ; and a 
beautiful long-haired species, called the Angora Cat, which 
is remarkable for sometimes having one eye blue and the 
other yellow ; the Red Cat of Tobolsk, mentioned by Gme- 
lin ; the Pendant-eared Cat of China ; and the Pensa Cat, 
described and figured by Pallas in his Travels, which, in- 
deed, seems likely to have been hybridous, though it was 

There is also, according to Sir S. Raffles, a variety of 
the Domestic Cat peculiar to the Malayan Archipelago, 
and remarkable for having a twisted or knobbed tail, in 
which particular it agrees with that of Madagascar. Some- 
times it has no tail at all. This coincidence with the Ma- 
dagascar variety, says Sir Stamford, is the more remarkable, 
as the similarity between the language and customs of the 
inhabitants of Madagascar and of the Malay Islands has 
frequently been a subject of observation. 

There is also an hereditary variety of the Cat in this 
country, which is without any visible tail. It is not un- 
common in Cornwall ; and Dr. Leach received one from 
the Isle of Wight, which, however, could not be reconciled 
to its new habitation . 

It appears by the Bibliotheque Universelle, that a hy- 
bridous race has lately been propagated between the Do- 
mestic Cat and the Pine Marten, which, contrary to the 
more ordinary course of nature, is prolific ; and as these 
animals are said to breed freely, they seem likely to become 
a distinct hereditary species. They appear to have more 


of the character of the Marten than the Cat, as the snout 
is elongated, and the claws are not retractile ; but they are 
perfectly domesticated, and the fur is very fine. The teeth 
are not described. The account must, however, be taken 
with caution ; as, although the animals in question partake 
as much or more of the character of the Marten than of the 
Cat, the original intercourse which produced them is merely 
supposititious. May not this be the Pensa Cat mentioned 
in Pallas's Travels ? 

The fur of the Cat, when dry, will yield electric sparks 
by rubbing ; and if the animal be placed on an electrical 
stool with glass legs, and rubbed for a short time in contact 
with the wire from a coated jar, the jar will be effectually 
charged with electric matter. 

Cats dislike being wetted, and are averse to many scents ; 
but they are passionately fond of the smell of the valerian 

Such as have lost their young have been known to trans- 
fer their maternal affection to Leverets, young Squirrels, 
and even Rats. These and similar facts, equally common 
and notorious, as the maternal affection of birds for the 
young of a different genus which they may have hatched, 
evince a special interposition of Providence for the propa- 
gation of animals, and show that what we call instinct is 
totally different from any thing like reason ; and is in fact 
an impulse acting on animals independent of volition, for 
the most important certainly of all purposes to them, their 

After the Cats generally, may be placed the Lynxes, or 
Cats with ears terminated with a pencil of hairs ; their size 
is moderate, and their tail generally short. 

The Caracal, Siagous, or Lynx of Barbary and the Levant, 
(Felis Caracal, L.,) is distinguished by its uniform vinous 
red colour; by its ears, black without, and white within; 


and by its tail, which reaches to the heel. There is some 
white above and below the eye, round the lips, under the 
jaw and throat, as well as under the body, and on the inside 
of the thighs. A black line passes from the eye to the 
nostrils, and there is a black spot about the whiskers. It 
is about eighteen or twenty inches high, and about two feet 
six inches long. 

The Long-tailed Caracal of Edwards and Buffon does not 
differ from this, as the Baron informs us. The first Caracal 
of Buffon was mutilated as to the tail. 

It appears to be the Caracal that the ancients have fre- 
quently named Lynx, for Pliny says, 1. viii. ch. 30, that 
the Lynx is a native of Ethiopia ; and Ovid says it comes 
from India: 

" Victa racemifero Lyncas dedit India Baccho." 

Elian, 1. xiv., ch. 6, gives him pencils of hairs to the ears. 
Oppian, Cyneg iii., v. 84, who makes two races, the small 
red and the large yellow, does not mention the spots; and 
the Lynx of the Mosaic of Palestine is drawn with a long 

We may nevertheless conclude that the name was applied 
sometimes to the Common Lynx : — 

" Monstrate mearum 
Vidistis si quatn hie errantem forte sororum 
Succinctam pharetra et maculosa tegmine Lyncis." 

Probably, however, Virgil may have supposed that the 
Lynx was like the Panther or Leopard, and the other ani- 
mals consecrated to Bacchus. 

The name Caracal is from the Turkish kara, black, and 
kulach, ear. The Persian name, sia-gusch, has the same 
meaning, sia, black, gusch, ear. 

The Chaus, Booted Lynx, or Lynx of the Marshes, 
(F. Chaus, Guld.) is intermediate in size between the Com- 
mon Lynx and the Wild Cat, and in the length of its tail 

Vol. II. 2 L 


between the Caracal and Common Lynx. It is yellowish- 
brown above, with some deeper shadows, lighter on the 
breast and belly, and whitish on the throat ; the limbs and 
cheeks have a yellowish tint ; two black bands mark the 
arms and thighs. The tail reaches the calcaneum, whitish 
towards the point, with three black annuli ; behind the 
paws is black, like the tips of the ears, but the rest of the 
convexity of the ear is yellow. 

This is the Booted Lynx of Bruce, whose individual ap- 
pears to have been a small one. It is found from Barbary 
to India. 

The Common Lynx appears to be so much subject to 
variety, or to be so nearly allied to other species, that it 
is extremely difficult to discover its constant specific cha- 
racters from those that are subject to change. It is about 
twice the size of the Wild Cat ; the back and limbs are 
generally bright red, with blackish-brown dots ; round the 
eye is white ; three lines of black spots on the cheeks join 
a large black oblique band on each side of the neck under 
the ear ; the fur of these parts, longer than elsewhere, forms 
a sort of lateral beard. The forehead and top of the head 
are dotted with black. On the top of the neck are four 
black lines, and in the middle one irregular and interrupted. 
The dots form two oblique bands on the shoulders, and 
transverse bands on the fore legs. The feet are yellow and 
spotless, but the tarsus of the hind feet has a brown band. 

The convexity of the ears is black at the base and tip, 
ashy in the middle ; the tail is yellow-white underneath, 
and dotted with black like the back. 

Others have the spots only a little deeper red than the 
ground colour ; the upper part of the tail red, the under 
part white, and the tip black, as that of Buffon, torn x., 
plate 21. 

The Swedes acknowledge considerable differences in the 
Lynx, from which they make one race with black spots 


under the name of Cat Lynx, another with pale spots under 
the name of Wolf Lynx, and a third with bands, under that 
uf Fox Lynx. Linnaeus at first separated, but afterwards 
united them. Retzius considers the two first as specifically 

The physiognomy of the Lynx is rather gentle than sa- 
vage ; and, indeed, it is said to be less ferocious than most 
of the species of this genus. It walks and leaps or bounds 
like a Cat, and hunts Wild Cats, Martens, Ermines, Squir- 
rels, fyc, pursuing them up into trees, where also it will 
lie in wait to drop on Deer, Goats, fyc, that may pass be- 
neath. It is sanguivorous ; and having seized on a prey, 
is said frequently to suck the blood, and then leave it for 
another victim ; whence it has been asserted, that the Lynx 
has the least memory of all animals. Its skin is changed 
by climate and season ; and in high latitudes, particularly 
in winter, the fur is much finer and thicker, and more 

Why the treacherous Lyncus should have been trans- 
formed into a Lynx, and this animal be in consequence held 
up in terrorem to the world as an example of perfidy, is not 
stated by Ovid, who, while he relates the tale, " Lynca 
Ceres fecit," like a true chronicler, abstains from all com- 
ment. A namesake of the Scythian king, Lynceus the Ar- 
gonaut, who, by-the-by, was a sheep-stealer or something 
worse, appears also to have been in some way allied to this 
animal, in the opinion of antiquity ; as the powers of vision 
of both were considered equally extensive and surprising, 
and no doubt with equal truth ; but if so, the eyes of the 
Lynx must have suffered in these degenerate days. Other 
marvellous stories were also told by the ancient naturalists 
of the Lynx, which have gained credit in later times with 
the vulgar, and with those who are easily credulous, and 
too idle to seek for truth at the, expense of trouble. 

The Lynx was formerly spread over the Old World, was 

2 L 2 


common in France, and has but recently disappeared from 
Germany. It is found in Spain and in the north of the 
European continent, but it is not yet certain whether it in- 
habits Africa. 

America produces certainly two species of the Lynx, and, 
probably, not more. One of these is gray, with the end of 
the tail black. This is the Canada Lynx of Buffon, Supp. 
iii., pi. 44, and his Lynx du Mississippi, of Supp. vii.,pl. 33. 

Some individuals have the fur so thick and long, espe- 
cially on the paws, that they have a very different appear- 
ance from the European Lynx. The fur is in general yellow, 
with the points white, which makes the general colour 
grayish-ash ; on the back the bottom of the hairs is blackish, 
which gives a general brown tint. The blackish band on 
each side of the neck is nearly effaced, and there is no black 
at the base of the ears. The head and body are nearly 
three feet long, and the tail about four inches, and it is 
about two feet high. 

Others have less fur, are rather smaller, and shew the 
darker colour more distinctly. We suspect, indeed, that 
in regard to the fur, the same individual varies considera- 
bly with the season. 

The other, or United States' Lynx, is of the size, and 
has the form and distribution of spots, of our first Eu- 
ropean species. The ground colour is gray ; its spots are 
more numerous, deeper on the back, and paler on the sides 
and limbs. They, however, vary in number and size. The 
tail has four black rings and four gray. 

The above observations on the species, by which it will 
be seen their number is very much limited, are almost en- 
tirely from our author in his Ossemens Fossiles. The table 
will shew the claimants to distinct species of this group. 

In the clear definition of species, the great goal of Zoo- 
logy, no branch of it, perhaps, is more imperfect than that 


of the Phoc^e or Seals ; nor when we consider the existing 
state of ignorance in relation to so many other Mammalia, 
more, in fact, within our reach than these marine animals, 
can we be surprised that but little should be known about 
them. Governments, societies, or individuals of wealth and 
power, may send out men of science to explore the most 
distant countries ; and scientific zeal may stimulate others 
to investigate the wonders of nature, in her most seques- 
tered recesses, but we have not the means, except by de- 
duction and analogy, of ascertaining the habits of these 
half amphibious animals, while procuring their sustenance 
at the bottom of the sea ; nor have we often, or in an effi* 
cient manner, the opportunity of watching them in their 
favourite haunts, the isolated steril rock, or the most retired 
and deserted strand. 

Many reasons seem to concur in pointing to the situation 
of the Phocse, in artificial arrangement, as among the other 
marine Mammalia ; it seems an easy transition from them 
through the Dugong to the Cetacea, and, in fact, Illiger 
has so arranged them under the general name of Pinne- 
pedie, but it is far from our wish to invent new systems, or 
even to reform the old ; we shall merely observe, that such 
a transposition of these animals, as that alluded to, might, 
perhaps, be made with advantage to the general symmetry 
of the Cuvierian system. 

Until very lately, the Seals were not supposed to present 
any very decided physical grounds of diversity. The pre- 
sence or absence of an external ear, no very influential cha- 
racter, had, indeed, been employed to separate the Seals, 
properly speaking, from the Otarys, the former, as was 
supposed, wanting the external ala, and the latter having 
it ; and a further sub-division of these Seals, properly 
speaking, has been still more recently made, by a separating 
those species which had an elongated snout, or a cutaneous 
appendage to the head, from such as had neither. 


In a physiological point of view, these differences become 
almost unimportant ; nor are they strictly grounded, in fact, 
for the Common Seal has, in reality, an external conch, 
very small, and hidden, it is true, but very distinct and 

One organic distinction, of a general and influential cha- 
racter, it is, however, now ascertained, does exist among 
these animals ; and whether this alone will be found to 
divide the whole of them into two sub-genera, or more 
equally influential, will arise to furnish the foundations for 
other sub-divisions, time and research must determine. 

The character alluded to is that of dentition. In the 
Eats, we have had occasion to observe that the two leading 
systems of dentition prevailing in these animals, seem to 
separate the frugivorous from the remaining insectivorous 
species ; and we shall have occasion to notice that the Mar- 
supiata, which belong to the same order, are very de- 
cidedly divided by the characters of the dentition of several 
groups or sub-genera. So in the Phocae before us, some 
have the cheek-teeth of a sharp, pointed, cutting character, 
while others have them conical or obtuse. True it is, 
that the external part of the cheek-teeth, however variously 
destined, and however different in appearance, present, 
when critically examined, rather an easy transition than a 
positive change; the tubercles in the one case are more or 
less developed, and more or less rounded or acute than they 
are in the other. But in the points of difference, which 
separate the two divisions of the Seals, now under consi- 
deration, there is another material character in the root of 
the cheek-teeth, inserted in the jaw. In the first division, 
the root, or rather roots, are several; in the second, there 
is but one, as in the cetaceous teeth. Hence, they may be 
conveniently distinguished ; first, by having the cheek-teeth 
with several tubercles, more or less indented, more or less 
sharp or obtuse, but always with several roots : or, se- 







condly, by having the same teeth, however tuberculated, 
provided simply with a single root, like those of the ceta- 
cea, and, therefore, called cetaceous-teeth. 

It will save a great deal of description which, after all, 
can never convey a perfect idea on this subject, to refer to 
the plates of teeth of the Phocae ; and though we cannot 
very conveniently delineate that part of the teeth which is 
buried in the jaw, that is the root, it will be observed that 
those species only are put in one plate, which have the 
cheek-teeth furnished with several roots, and those, alone, 
in the other, which have the simple root, or cetaceous for- 
mation. The external parts of all of them will be immedi- 
ately observed to present much diversity, nor can it be 
supposed that such diversity can be unaccompanied with 
analogous differences of impulses and habits. 

The harmony of nature is a constant theme of observa- 
tion to the reflecting naturalist, and in no particular can 
that harmony be more universal, or, indeed, more essen- 
tial, than in the physical adaptation of the organs appropri- 
ated to supply food to the animal, and in the impulses and 
passions of the same: without adverting at all, therefore, 
to the peculiarities of the root of the cheek-teeth of the 
several species which compose the Phocae, it is impossible 
to contemplate the differences which distinguish their ex- 
ternal portion, without feeling satisfied, from analogy, that 
the pursuits and habits of these several species must be as 
various as are these physical differences. Our knowledge 
of the differences of the modes of life of these animals, by 
no means accords with what we now know of these differ- 
ences of conformation ; we cannot, therefore, but conclude 
that we have very much, as yet, to learn in regard to the 
manners and habits of the Seals. 

Little more is known of the Common Seal, though an 
inhabitant of our own seas, than of those which are met 


with in the most distant latitudes. The high intellectual 
qualities of the Seal, were, however, observed and appre- 
ciated by the ancients. Diodorus, iElian, and Pliny, speak 
of them at some length ; and all travellers and naturalists, 
who have treated of the Seals, since the resumption of Zoo- 
logical studies in Europe, have related additional proofs 
of them. Notwithstanding the numerous facts known on 
this subject, the analogy existing between the intelligence 
and organization of these animals has not yet been esta- 
blished, though a point of the highest consequence, and 
one, without knowing something of which it is impossible 
thoroughly to appreciate the moral nature of any intelligent 
being. M. F. Cuvier, anxious to supply the desideratum 
on this subject, paid a more than ordinary attention to 
three Seals, in possession of the French Menagerie, and we 
shall give our readers the result of his observations in as 
few words as possible. 

These animals were very young, and differed little in 
magnitude. They were about three feet in length. On 
coming out of the water, they were not of the same colour 
as when dry. In the first situation, the black spots on the 
back were much more visible than in the second, and the 
groundcolour of the coat was gray in one instance, and a 
deep yellow in the other. 

The black spots were more or less extended in the dif- 
ferent individuals, and the under part of the body more or 
less pale than the upper. But, in all, the spots united 
along the spine, and formed a broad dorsal line, extending 
from the lower part of the head to the tail. One individual, 
of a fawn-colour, had an additional black spot upon the 
neck, in the form of a crescent, which was distinctly visible 
in every position of the animal, and its head was continu- 
ally surrounded by a circle of oiled hairs, announcing in 
these parts the presence of some peculiar glandular organ. 

TH5E §3EA!L . 
IPMOCjI witujlimm jl. 

lorulen. JPuMi/ud n &£ WB.WhMaker. X<p:i924. 


These differences, probably, appertain to the distinction of 
sex, as this fawn-coloured Seal was a male, while the gray 
specimens were females. 

The hairs are all silken, flat, pointed,harsh, and compact. 
Their length rarely surpasses six or seven inches. The 
skin secretes an oily matter, which contributes to secure 
the animal from the effects of humidity. 

The Seals have five toes on the fore-feet, perfectly free, 
and five on the hind, united by a membrane, which con- 
stitutes them genuine oars, and both are armed with nails. 
The hands are the only parts of the anterior limbs which 
are external. The hinder limbs are parallel with the trunk, 
and are visible only from the calcaneum. 

These animals are not less remarkable for the form of 
their sensitive than that of their locomotive organs. A 
short muzzle, orbits without brows, a broad front, and an 
immense and rounded cranium, give them a physiognomy 
not to be found in other Mammalia, <§fc. Their eyes, large, 
round, and parallel with the head, have a pupil like that of 
the domestic Cat. It dilates into a broad disk, in a feeble 
light, but contracts in the open day. The eyelids are nar- 
row, and seldom completely close. 

The animal does not appear to have occasion to clean 
the surface of the eye so often as the other Mammalia. 
When these organs move, the skin of the forehead and 
cheeks form wrinkles," which show that the fleshy pannicle 
takes a part in this motion. The third eyelid is tolerably 
developed, and perfectly visible, but the animal would seem 
but rarely to use it. 

The nostrils, situated behind the end of the muzzle, have 
two longitudinal apertures which form nearly a right angle. 
They are seldom opened, except when the animal is desir- 
ous of expelling the air from its lUngs, or introducing fresh. 
They then assume a circular form. Respiration in the 
Seal is very quick, and extremely unequal, and often per- 


formed after very long intervals. There is generally 
from eight to ten seconds between each inspiration, and 
this function is sometimes suspended for half a minute 
without apparent inconvenience. It would seem that the 
nostrils are habitually closed, and that the act of opening 
them is attended with some effort. The quantity of air, 
however, that enters the lungs, must be considerable, to 
judge from the motion of the sides, and the air expelled at 
each expiration. The quantity of air inspired compensates 
for the paucity of the inspirations, for few of the Mammalia 
seem to possess so great a natural heat as the Seals. These 
animals also have a large quantity of blood. 

The external ears are but a small rudiment of a trian- 
gular form. They are situated below the eye, a little in 
the rear. The bony part, however, is in the same place as 
in other Mammalia. This rudiment is closed when the 
animal dives. The tongue is soft, the lips extensible, and 
in the mustachios apparently resides the greatest sensi- 
bility of touch. They communicate with nerves remark- 
able for size, and in which the slightest touch produces a 

The teeth of the Phocse are very peculiar. Six incisors 
in the upper jaw, and four in the lower. Canines in num- 
ber and form like the rest of the Carnassiers. Five molars 
on each side of the two jaws, trenchant, triangular, and 
analogous to the false molars of the other Carnassiers, 
except that they are a little thicker at the base, and the 
edge is more sloped. The first of these teeth is smaller 
than the others, and placed immediately at the base of the 

These observations were made upon young Seals. The 
molars of the adult are probably more numerous, and, in 
fact, Lepechin enumerates four more. 

The structure of this animal's limbs evidently shows, 
that it was intended to live in the water, and all its move- 


ments on land are slow and painful. It seldom uses its 
paws but for swimming, and unless it climbs, it never 
uses them for locomotion on land. When it wants to walk, 
it presses the hind and fore parts of its body alternately on 
the ground, bending its back upwards, something like a 
Snail. The paws are inactive in this operation. In climb- 
ing, however, the claws are used with good effect. The 
hind feet are of use only in swimming, and they are always 
in requisition for that purpose. 

When the Seal is disposed for rest, he stretches himself 
on one or the other side of his body, and the head is habi- 
tually withdrawn between the shoulders. 

The senses in these animals seem to possess no great 
degree of acuteness, a fact which we should have been led 
to pre-suppose from their mode of life, consisting, as it 
does, in a state of almost continual repose. Their sight is 
perhaps the best ; they can see at some distance, but better 
in a weak than strong light, and they do not seem to be 
able accurately to distinguish forms. To this conclusion 
our naturalist was led, by their constantly approaching to 
partake of food, which they as constantly rejected, and the 
form of whicb was totally different from that of the only 
aliment they would taste. Hearing must be but a feeble 
sense with the Seals, as the external organ is so little 
developed, and as the animal passes so large a portion of 
its life at the bottom of the water with the ears closed 
against the vibrations of sound ; the want of exercise must 
combine to render this sense defective. 

Were we to judge solely by the external organ, these 
animals would seem to derive no greater advantage from 
the sense of smelling, than from the senses of which we 
have already spoken. The nostrils, like the ears, must 
remain closed when the animal is excluded from the ex- 
ternal air, and as it pursues its prey in the midst of the 
waters, it certainly cannot employ its scent in the usual 


manner, to discriminate and select it. Notwithstanding 
this, if the cornets of the nose have any influence over the 
sense of smelling, the Seal should be able to discriminate 
with ease the weakest odours, as there is no animal at all 
comparable to it for the complexity and convolution of the 
cornets. But one mode of smelling can remain, and 
that is, to retain the odorous emanations of bodies enclosed 
within the mouth in contact with the pituitary membrane, 
thus introducing them into the nose through the medium 
of the palate. 

This conjecture will not appear ill founded, if we con- 
sider what very little service these animals must derive 
from the sense of taste. Their mastication goes no farther 
than to reduce the fish to such dimensions as may render it 
barely capable of passing the larynx and the oesophagus. 
To produce this effect, they generally confine themselves 
to pressing the fishes between their teeth, not so as to 
divide them in pieces, but merely to contract them in size. 
Sometimes they will tear their prey with their claws, but 
they are often observed to swallow it entire, even when 
apparently it is too large for their mouths. Thus they are 
frequently compelled to raise their heads to facilitate the 
operation of deglutition, so that the weight of the aliments 
may contribute to make them slide into the oesophagus and 
stomach, and favour the efforts of the muscles. 

There is little to add on the subject of the sense of touch. 
It is evident that the Seal must have very limited notions 
of such qualities of bodies as are transmitted to our under- 
standing through the medium of this sense. It employs 
it more likely to ascertain the presence of objects, and to 
appreciate their form, dimensions, or solidity. This is an 
object which must be accomplished in the most suitable 
manner by the mustachios for a carnivorous animal, 
which most generally cannot be informed of the presence 
of its prey by sight, by hearing, or by smell. 


We have already observed the imperfect manner in which 
mastication is performed by the Seals, and how they swal- 
low bodies without chewing them. Nature has not only 
provided them with the means of distending excessively all 
the parts through which the aliments must pass, but has 
also supplied them in abundance with a viscous saliva, 
which fills the mouth to such a degree, that during deglu- 
tition it escapes in long threads, and this phenomenon is 
also observed to take place, even when the Phoca only per- 
ceives its prey. While mastication and deglutition are 
performed by these animals on land, it is not possible that 
they should meet with any impediment ; but it frequently 
happens, that the Seals devour the prey which they have 
caught at the bottom of the waters, and it is difficult to 
suppose that, in this case, the operation can be performed 
in the same manner as in the other. In fact, when- the fish 
is on land, the Seal seizes it with its teeth, crushes and 
swallows it, letting it fall, as it were, into the stomach, rather 
than directing it thither ; but in the water it catches the 
prey by a sort of suction. It does not completely open the 
mouth. It only separates the extremities of the lips, lower- 
ing a iittle at the same time its under jaw. The fish is thus 
drawn into the vacuum left in the mouth, if it presents it- 
self suitably for that purpose, by the head, the tail, or the 
point of the fins. 

Should it present a large surface, surpassing the little 
aperture in the mouth, the Seal is obliged to adopt new 
measures, and to attack it again. There is another point 
upon which we are destitute of information. The Seal 
must swallow its prey under the water. If this operation 
were performed as on land, it is obvious, that along with 
its food, it must of necessity swallow much of the liquid 
element. How this is avoided, the observations of natural- 
ists have not, as yet, enabled us to ascertain. 


The voice of the Seal is a sort of barking not unlike that 
of a Dog, but much feebler. The Seals on which these 
observations were made, barked usually of an evening, or 
on change of weather. They exhibited anger by a sort of 
hissing, resembling the swearing of a Cat. 

What has been said concerning the organs of the Phocse, 
must be sufficient to leave little doubt concerning their im- 
perfection, and were we to judge of the intelligence of these 
animals from the facts now stated, we should not hesitate 
to regard them as the most stupid and brutal of terrestrial 
Mammalia. Those Seals, however, with members so im- 
perfect, with senses so obtuse, are enabled, from their few 
sensations, to derive results infinitely superior to those 
obtained by animals, in appearance, the most felicitously 
organized. An additional proof of the predominant in- 
fluence of the brain in all that is intellectual. 

The animals on which these remarks were made, ex- 
perienced no fear in the presence of men, or any other 
animal. Nothing ever induced them to fly, except ap- 
proaching so near as to excite in them the apprehension of 
being trodden under foot, and even in this case they only 
avoided the danger by removing to a little distance. 

One of them, indeed, would sometimes threaten with its 
voice, and strike with its paw ; but it would never bite, 
except in the last extremity. In taking their food, they 
evinced a similar gentleness of character. Though very 
voracious, they could behold it withdrawn from them with- 
out fear or resistance. They would suffer the fish which 
had been just given them to be taken away with impunity, 
and some young Dogs, to which one of those Seals was 
attached, would amuse themselves in snatching the fish 
from his mouth which he was just ready to swallow, with- 
out his testifying the least anger. When two Seals, how- 
ever, were allowed to eat together, the usual result was a 


combat carried on with their paws, which ended by the 
weakest or most timid leaving the field in possession of his 

With the exception of some species of the Simiae, there 
is scarcely any wild animal more easily tamed than the 
Phoca, or capable of a stronger degree of attachment. One 
of the individuals before-mentioned, showed, at first, some 
degree of shyness, and fled at the show of caresses ; but, in 
a few days, his fear was totally at an end. He soon dis- 
covered the nature and intent of such movements, and his 
confidence became unbounded. This same Phoca was shut 
up with two little Dogs, who used to mount upon his back, 
bark at, and seemed to bite him ; and although sports of 
this kind were at variance with his habits and nature, he 
soon learned to appreciate their motive, and to take plea- 
sure in them. He never replied to them, but by gentle 
strokes of his paw, which seemed rather intended to excite 
than to repress them. If the Dogs escaped, he would fol- 
low them, though walking over ground covered with stones 
and mud must have been a painful effort to him ; and 
when cold weather came, he and the Dogs would lie closely 
together, to keep each other warm. 

The fawn-coloured individual was peculiarly attached to 
the person who had the care of him ; he soon learned to 
know this person at any distance within his range of vision. 
He would hold his eyes fixed upon him while he was pre- 
sent, and run forward the moment he saw him approach. 
Hunger, to be sure, entered for something into the affec- 
tion he testified towards his keepers. The continual at- 
tention which he paid to every motion connected with the 
gratification of his appetite had made him remark, at the 
distance of sixty paces, the place which contained his food, 
although it was devoted to several other uses, and though 
it was entered but twice a day for the purpose of procuring 
his nutriment. If he was at liberty when his keeper ap- 


proached to feed him, he would run forward, and solicit his 
food by lively motions of his head, and the most expressive 
glances of his eye. This animal exhibited many other in- 
stances of considerable intelligence. 

M. F. Cuvier has since seen an individual of this species, 
as well-educated as any Dog could be. 

Of the common species there are many varieties, differing 
principally in colour, but not deviating, of course, in cra- 
niological characters. That we have engraved, under the 
name of the Common Seal, seems to be the spotted variety, 
met with most commonly on the Dutch coast. Linnaeus, as 
the Baron observes, under his Phoca Vitulina, or Common 
Seal, has quoted several species. 

Another species, whose skin is the most esteemed for com- 
mercial purposes, is an inhabitant of the Frozen Ocean. It 
has been often described, but seems so much subject to va- 
riety, as to present the appearances of many distinct spe- 
cies. The sexual difference, also, is very great, as our 
figures evince, of both the male and female. This is the 
Phoca Groenlandica of Fabricius, the P. Oceanica of Lepe- 
chin, (Acta Acad. Petrop. 1777,) and the Harp or Heart 
Seal of English traders. It is generally of a grayish-white 
colour ; and the sub-contiguous blotches, represented in 
our figure, are generally described as more regular in their 
conformation, forming an arch or crescent pretty com- 
plete. It attains nine feet in length. 

The females and the young are covered with unequal 
spots, generally angular in shape, and spread irregularly 
over the whole body. The specimen whence our figure 
was taken, was very much darker in colour than the 

The osteological characters of this species are not known. 
Lepechin seems to describe it as having four incisors in 
each jaw, and six cheek-teeth with three points ; but the 
Baron has observed, that his description of the dentition 









N ■ 



appears to be inaeeurate, from some error of the press. 
Fabricius gives it six incisors above, and four below, whence 
it has been concluded that those writers described different 

Cuvier suspects that the head in the Surgeons' College, 
engraved in the Philosophical Transactions, pi. 28, and de- 
scribed by Sir Everard Home, is, in fact, of this species. 

M. de Blainville has named P. Leptonyx, a new species, 
lately received in the French Museum, and which appears 
to be the same as that, the head of which has been long in 
the Surgeons' College here, and engraved in the Philoso- 
phical Transactions for 1822, and pi. 29, described by Sir 
Everard Home. 

It is about eight feet long, blackish-gray, slightly tinted with 
yellow, becoming yellower by degrees on the sides by small 
yellowish spots mixed with the general colour. The flanks, 
under part of the body, feet, and over the eyes, are pale 
yellow. The mustachios short, and the nails much shorter 
than in other species. 

The Hooded Seal, P. Cristata, Gm., has the power of 
bringing a fold of skin, placed on the forehead, forward, so 
as to cover the eyes, which it does when threatened, or 
about to be struck. This singular appendage appears to 
be filled with blood vessels, and to contain a vast quantity 
of blood ; when at rest, or drawn back, it considerably en- 
larges the apparent size of the neck and shoulders. For 
the rest of its particulars, we refer to the table. 

One of the largest and most celebrated of these animals, 
is that described in Lord Anson's voyage, found on the 
island of Juan Fernandez, and which he names the Sea 
Lion. Peron has described it since, under the name of the 
Elephant or Proboscis Seal. 

It attains from twenty-five to thirty feet in length, and 
appears to be almost uniformly brown. It is the male 
which is distinguished by the extensible faculty of the nose 

Vol. II. 2 M 


or muzzle in the moments of anger, it then assumes nearly 
the shape of the short proboscis of the tapir ; but according 
to recent observation, it is not so when the animal is per- 
fectly at rest, the nose then being drawn back and thickened. 

These animals, at certain times of the year, are said to 
be so excessively fat, as to resemble skins of oil ; the tremu- 
lous motion of the blubber being plainly perceivable be- 
neath the skin. A single animal has been known to yield 
a butt of oil, and to be so full of blood, that what has run 
out has filled two hogsheads. This species is an abundant 
source of trade in the antarctic seas. 

The figure of this animal, in Lord Anson's voyage, dif- 
fers very widely from that of Peron ; the former has the 
nasal appendage or peculiarity almost in the shape of a 
cock's comb, and the latter represents it as a short pro- 
boscis. We have no original drawing to illustrate the 

The above-mentioned species may be said to be esta- 
blished, since their bony parts, at least, have been ex- 
amined and observed upon by our author. Of the various 
other species, real or pretended, which have been named, we 
shall say nothing in this place, but must refer to the table. 

The Seals distinguished by visible external ears, were 
noted by Buffbn, but continued mixed with the earless spe- 
cies by subsequent zoologists, until Peron designated them 
by the name of Otaries. They differ from the Seals, pro- 
perly speaking, in other points than that of the external 

Their arms are better calculated for swimming, being 
placed more behind the animal, which gives them the ap- 
pearance of having a long neck. The fingers are more en- 
veloped in the skin, and are destitute of nails. Their hind 
extremities have the membrane more divided. 

Gmelin cites three species of the Otary, or Eared Seal ; 
the P. Ursina, P. Jubata, and the P. Pusilla of Daubenton, 


2 - | 

<§ 'I 
I 1 


the Little Seal of Pennant and Shaw. The result of all the 
observations of navigators in the Pacific Ocean appears to 
be, that they have seen a Red Eared Seal and a Brown 
Eared Seal, the former of which is the Sea Bear, and the 
latter the Sea Lion. All the other species, or pretended 
species, with the exception of the Pusilla, are involved in 
doubt and uncertainty. We shall, therefore, briefly notice 
these three, and refer to the table for the rest, with this 
general observation. 

The Sea Bear, P. Vrsina, called also by M. de Blainville, 
P. Byronia, from the skull in the Surgeons' College, brought 
by Lord Byron, is described as growing to eight feet in 
length, but the female is much smaller. The greatest cir- 
cumference of the body is about five feet, but near the tail, 
it does not exceed twenty inches. The nose projects ; the 
nostrils are oval. The ears are small and pointed, hairy 
without, but naked within. The general colour of the 
animal is black, but the hair of the old ones is tipped with 
gray, and the females are cinereous. 

We are told, that these animals live in a polygamous state, 
and that each male has from eight to fifty females. Though 
they may be found by thousands on the shore, each family 
is perfectly distinct ; they are very jealous of their separate 
station, and if an individual of one family trespass on 
the station of another, not merely a single combat, but a 
general battle frequently ensues. 

This species, in common with others of the genus, evinces 
considerable intellectual development, and exhibits a great 
degree of feeling and attention in the care of the young. 

The Sea Lion of Forster, (Captain Cook's second voyage) 
is from ten to twelve feet long, but the females do not ex- 
ceed seven or eight feet. The body is thick, cylindrical, 
and very fat. The head is small, and the muzzle similar 
to that of a great, Dog, truncated at the end. The male 
has the head and the upper part of the body covered with 

2 M 2 


thick, rough, and stiff hairs, about three inches long, of a 
deep yellow or tan-colour, falling over the forehead and 
cheeks, and forming a mane on the neck and chest, which 
is erected when the animal is irritated. On the rest of 
the body the hairs are short and soft, of a brownish-yellow, 
and lying close to the skin. The female has no mane, and 
the whole animal is covered with the soft hairs which are of 
a lightish colour. 

The habits of this species are very similar to those of the 
last. Forster tells us that the voice of the male is like the 
roaring of a Lion or an irritated Bull, and that of the fe- 
male like a Calf or a Lamb. The old males live separate 
from their females out of the times of sexual intercourse, 
but during these periods form families or societies like the 
Sea Bears. 

As for the other species of the Seals, they are very little 
known, and what little is known is not particularly inte- 
resting to the general reader. Nothing can be more con- 
fused, contradictory, and unsatisfying than the reports of au- 
thors on this subject. In his Ossemens Fossiles, the Baron 
has done a great deal to introduce clearness, arrangement, 
and authenticity into the zoology of the Phocse. To follow 
him, however, would suit neither the character of our pre- 
sent work, nor the limits to which it must necessarily be 
prescribed. Nor would the result be very satisfactory in 
regard to establishing the species. With the exception 
of a few, and these we have principally mentioned, his ob- 
servation rather tends to throw discredit and doubt on the 
many species noticed than to authenticate or illustrate them. 

In the table we shall simply follow M. Desmarest, as far 
as our plan permits. When Cuvier himself is unable to come 
to a determinate list of species, and of their synonyms it 
would be presumptuous in us to attempt it. OfM. Des- 
marest's Table the Baron says, that it is a very complete 
collection of the descriptions of Seals to be met with in 


Zon/ton&m&iea ~by G- ZcWB. Whittaker. SeptVM24-- 

JfJ3asv~e scufa. 


different authors : but from it may be judged how far these 
descriptions are insufficient and contradictory, and to what 
extent it is necessary to clear them up by actual observa- 

The Morse (Tricheus,) has often been joined by au- 
thors to the Lamantins, Dugongs, #c, but yet it materially 
differs from them by one very important character. This 
character is the possession of posterior extremities, like the 
Seals, to which last animals they bear a much more general 
resemblance than to the first mentioned Mammalia, which 
the Baron, with his usual judgment and discrimination, 
has more appropriately classed with the Cetacea. 

The teeth of the Morse are different from those of the 
Seals, properly so called, in form, number and position. In 
the upper jaw are two immense tusks or canines, arched 
below, longer than the head, compressed laterally, and ob- 
tuse at the extremities. Between these are two incisors, 
scarcely apparent, and conformed like molar teeth. Be- 
tween these again in the young Morses are some still 
smaller and pointed. The molars are four in number 
on each side: their form is cylindrical, and their coronals 
obliquely truncated. Two between each of them fall out 
at a certain period. In the under jaw but four molars are 
observable like those in the upper on each side. There are 
neither incisives nor canines, and the symphysis of this jaw 
is prolonged like that of the Elephant, and sufficiently 
compressed to find room between the two tusks. The 
muzzle is considerably inflated, which is owing to the pro- 
digious development of the alveoli of the tusks. The cra- 
nium is rounded. No external ears ; the body is elongated 
and attenuated in the hinder part. The tail is very short. 
The fore-feet answer the purposes of fins or oars, like those 
of the Phocae. The hinder ones are in the direction of the 
body, and their two external toes are the longest. 


The name of Trichecus which comes from rpi^ a hair, now 
applied to the Morse, was given at first by Artedi to the 

The Morses seem to live on prey like the Seals. Their 
stomach is exactly alike. They are found in abundance 
in the northern Atlantic Ocean, and also in the polar 
regions of the Pacific. As yet but one species is known, 
though it is by no means impossible, as Shaw remarks, that 
each of these great seas has one peculiar to itself. The 
difference of such species would consist in the proportional 
magnitude of the tusks, and their more or less convergent 

The only species named the Morse ( Tricheus Rosmarus,) 
is vulgarly called the Sea-cow, Sea-horse, fyc. 

These are animals of a very large size, brown colour, very 
like the Pbocse in general form, but heavier, and closely 
resembling them in their way of life, They inhabit similar 
places, and are generally found together. Both hold equally 
to the land and water, mount on the icebergs, suckle and 
bring up their young similarly, subsist on similar aliments, 
and live together in numerous societies in the same man- 
ner. It would seem, however, that the Morses do not 
travel so far as the Seals, and are more attached to their 
native climate. They are never found except in the North 
Seas, and accordingly were unknown to the ancients, who 
were well acquainted with the Seal tribe. 

Most travellers in those seas have spoken of the Morse, 
but those to whom most credit may be attached are Zorg- 
drager and Cook. 

f*. The Seals and Morses," says the first of these writers, 
*' come during the heat of summer into the seas near the 
Bay of Horisont and that of Klock, in troops of eighty, a 
hundred, and even two hundred, especially the Morses, 
which remain there many days until hunger forces them 
back into the main ocean. Many Morses are seen towards 


Spitzberg. On land they are killed with lances. They 
are hunted for their tusks and fat. The oil is nearly as 
much esteemed as that of the Whale. Their tusks are also 
very valuable. The interior of these teeth is considered 
more valuable than ivory, and is of a substance harder and 
more compact in the larger than in the smaller teeth. A 
moderate-sized tusk weighs three pounds, and a common 
Morse will furnish half a ton of oil. When one of these 
animals is encountered on the ice or in the water, the 
hunters strike him with a strong harpoon, made expressly 
for the purpose, which will often glide harmlessly over 
his thick and hard skin. When it penetrates, the animal 
is drawn towards the vessel with a cable, and then killed 
with a lance peculiarly formed. He is then dragged to the 
nearest land, or flat iceberg. They then flay him, throw 
away the skin, separate the two tusks from the head, or 
simply cut the head off, cut out the fat, and carry it to the 

The female brings forth in winter, but one at a birth. 

Some say these animals eat the shell-fish at the bottom of 
the sea. Others assert that they only eat a sea-weed, with 
large leaves, and are not carnivorous. Buffon thinks these 
opinions ill-founded, especially as the animal never eats 
when on land, and is driven back to the sea by hunger. 

The form of the molar teeth would indicate the Morse 
omnivorous ; but its stomach, like that of the Seals, simple 
and membranous, would shew that it lived in the same way 
as these animals. 




N orthomberland-court. 


Peruvian Bat, and Tailed Glossophag Bat (species 

190 and 207 of Table) 
Tailless Glossophag Bat, and Megaderma Lyra 

(species 208 and 212 of Table) 
Plate I. of the " Regne Animal " 
Teeth of Cherioptera 

Teeth of Insectivora 
Great-eared Hedgehog 
Cape Chrysoclore 
Desman and Condylure 
Teeth of Genus Ursus 
North American Bear 
Polar Bear 
Malay Bear 

Masked Glutton 
Ferruginous Glutton 
Teeth of Weasels 
White-eared Weasel 

Mephitis of Chili 

Canadian Otter- 
White-headed Sea Otter 
Skulls of Dogs and Hyssna 
Drigo, Dhole, and North and South American 

Dogs' Heads 
Dogs' Heads, Second Plate 
Black Wolf . 

Fennec of Delaland 
Hyaena Dog 


face Page 




219 «-- 
229 - 
232 ' 
278 ""'" 
28 \<S 

299 ' 

300 - 
305 - 
315 - 

327 ' 
339 - 
348 "" 
372 " 
376 " 
378 " 
381 ^ 


To face Page 

Hysena Genet 

. 390 — 


. 399 ^ 

Pougonne' . , 

. 412- 



Teeth of Felinae 

. 422 ' 


. 428- 


. 440 - 

White Tiger 

. 444 '""' 

Cubs bred between Lion and Tiger 

. 447 " 

Clouded Tiger 

. 450^ 

Jaguar , 

. 455/.. 

Jaguar, small var. 

. 456 " 


. 459 ^ 

Panther ... 

. 465 ^ 

Panther of the Ancients 

. 46G* 

Once .... 

. 469 - 

Felis Chalybeata 

. 473 { 

Ocelot, No. 1. 

. 475 ** 

Ocelot, No. 2. 

. 476 - 

Ocelot, No. 3. 

. 477. 

Ocelot, No. 4. . 


Linked Ocelot 


Felis Macrourus 

. 478' 


. 479 * 

Chati . 

.. 480 -^ 

Serval . 

. 482^ 

Tiger Cat of Java and Cape Cat of Forste 

r . 484" 

Cape Cat of Forster and Yagaroundi 

. 486 ' 

Eira of D'Azara and Tortoishell Cat 

. 487 - 

Lynx of Siberia 

. 494 * 

Teeth of Seals 

. 497-- 

The, Seal 

. 498 " 

Greenland or Harp Seal 

. 506 * 

Harp Seal . 

. 507 ' 

Morse . . 

. 511 ' 

Erratum in Plates. 

In Piute of " Teeth of the Felinae," the letter d, referring to the fourth cheek tooth in the 
upper jaw, should have been placed over the first tooth on the left ii.stead of the right. 


^V :P?.§1 r- 

% ^ ^ 

■™5* -y , 


<^'^M\ / > ^m^ % 

O A- 

•A .0 

to % 

^ ^o W- 

fli •% s^- 

<> "O vV^ SS5B- Vs. 



^ ^ ^* 


-V ^' 

\ <? 


3 9088 01094 5202